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Vietnam’s Van Don International Airport has opened for operations in order to gain private funding to develop further national infrastructure projects.

The facility is the first privately owned airport in Vietnam.

Located in the north-eastern coastal province of Quang Ninh, the airport has been built with an investment of $310m.

Van Don Airport is capable of handling large aircraft, including Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s.

Covering 290ha, the new airport is wholly owned by Sun Group and was built in collaboration with Netherlands Airport Consultants. It will be operated based on the build, operate and transfer model.

NACO project manager and architect Romy Berntsen said: “It is the most modern airport in Vietnam. It will have positive influences on the passengers’ experience here in the airport.”

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By GlobalData
“It will have positive influences on the passengers’ experience here in the airport.”

The airport is equipped with the latest technologies in the main terminal and a new runway. It is estimated to serve up to 2.5 million passengers a year for the next two years and five million per annum by 2030.

The company hopes to recover the investment over the next 45 years.

Investors that include Korea Airports pulled out of the project in 2015 when they learned that the airport would focus mainly on domestic flights.

Sun Group then entered as a new investor and the project began in March 2016.

However, it was later decided that Van Don would be an international airport, which supports the government’s plan to operate 13 international and 15 domestic airports by 2023.

There are currently 21 airports across Vietnam.

Vietnam plans to invest at least $3bn to build six new airports over the next five years, alongside modernising existing facilities.