Vietnam’s New International Airport Project - Opportunities for Finnish Sustainable Smart Solutions

Vietnam's aviation industry is witnessing the strongest growth in decades with growth ratings for five consecutive years reaching double digits. Vietnam is ranked the fifth fastest growing aviation market in the world and the fastest in Southeast Asia. The policies issued recently by the Government of Vietnam on aviation and tourism promotion as well as the initiative of strengthening air connections between Vietnam and its key tourist markets around the world are considered important underlying factors for this strong growth. As forecasted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Vietnam’s aviation will reach 150 million passengers transported by 2035 and might attract more than 205 million air passengers by 2038 according to the most recent estimates.

The rapid growth of Vietnam’s air transport puts great pressures on aviation infrastructure in Vietnam, especially in Hochiminh City. Tan Son Nhat International Airport - the only international airport in Hochiminh City Metropolitan Area, built at the time of Vietnam war - is currently suffering from overloading, and the expansion of this airport, even at its maximum capacity, is still lagging behind the demand. In this context, the Government of Vietnam decided to build a new state-of-the-art international airport, which will be located 40 kilometers from Hochiminh City. The new international airport is expected to help ease the overloading of Tan Son Nhat International Airport and to create the growth momentum to the national economy. It is intended to replace the existing Tan Son Nhat International Airport as the city’s main airport.

Detail perspectives of Long Thanh International Airport
Detail perspectives of Long Thanh International Airport. Photo courtesy of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV).

Covering more than 5,580 hectares, Long Thanh International Airport will spread across six communes in Long Thanh district, Dong Nai province, Vietnam. This new international airport is invested to reach code 4F according to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO and will be playing as a major gateway and important international airport of the country, aiming to become one of the hub airports in the region.

The construction of the $16-billion airport – the most expensive infrastructure project in Vietnam’s history – started in January 2021 and is expected to be fully completed in 2050 in three phases. In the first phase, costing $4.74 billion, one runway, taxiways, an apron, and a passenger terminal with other auxiliary works will be built to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tons of air cargo each year. The second phase includes one more runway and another passenger terminal serving 50 million passengers and 1.5 million tons of air cargo a year. The entire Long Thanh International Airport, upon completion after the third phase, would have four runways and four passenger terminals and is able to accommodate 100 million passengers and 5 million tons of air cargo per annum.

The first phase of the project covering the land area of 1,180 hectares will develop a 4000m x 75m runway, together with parallel runway system, connecting runway, and aircraft hangar.

For the first phase, Airport Corporation of Vietnam as the investor would develop also a passenger terminal building with capacity of 25 MPA and floor area of 373,000 m2. Along with these main items, the investor would construct a car park building with capacity of 4,200 cars, cargo terminals with over all capacity of 1.2 MTA, a cargo forwarder building, flight catering facility with capacity of 40,000 meals per day, aircraft maintenance and cleaning operation buildings, fuel station, drainage treatment station, etc.

All state management agencies and agencies operating in Long Thanh International Airport such as Customs, Immigration Police, Local Police, Medical Quarantine, Airport Authority, Airport Operation Agency, Air Traffic Management Agency would be also constructed.

Facilities for Airlines, aviation service suppliers as well as direct connection transport system to Long Thanh International Airport are planned to be constructed during this phase. In addition, the project will build an air traffic control tower of 123 meters high as well as water and electricity supply systems and a wastewater treatment plant.

Aiming to develop a smart, environment-friendly, and modern airport with 4.0 technology platform towards sustainable development, Long Thanh International Airport will make use of the most advanced and modern technologies to reach the service quality and flying safety standards of the world’s leading airports. The modern technologies are the most prominent highlight in the feasibility study report of Long Thanh International Airport in the first phase. A series of 4.0 technologies are proposed to be applied in the management and use of Long Thanh International Airport. The proposed technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be applied to passenger and immigration procedures; IoT (Internet of Things) applications helping the technical devices identify and control remotely based on wireless technology infrastructure platforms and the internet;  and automation technology, which is currently used at new and major airports around the world, including Self Check-in Kiosk, Self Baggage Drop, Automatic Gate Access Control, Automated Immigration, and E-gate.

The Long Thanh International Airport project provides a variety of potential business opportunities to Finnish companies operating in the aforementioned areas, capable of offering the state-of-the-art solutions for increasing efficiency, improving safety and reducing overall costs while ensuring a harmonious balance between technology and nature. The solutions can be varied from architecture and urban planning, smart and green building, digitalization, smart lighting, smart energy, automation, smart mobility, smart connectivity, circular economy, sustainable initiatives, and so on.


Mac Le Thu Hong

Special Adviser

Embassy of Finland, Hanoi