After two years of construction, Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam, opened its doors on 30 December 2018. As a new gateway for both domestic and international travellers coming to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, it is expected to receive an estimated 2 to 2.5 million passengers annually for the next two years and five million per year by 2030.
This is said to be the first-ever international airport in Vietnam to be developed by a private company, Sun Group - the country’s developer of tourism, leisure and entertainment-focused properties and projects. With a total investment of VND 7,463 billion (around US$310 million), the new airport was constructed with the assistance of NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants), a leading global consultancy and engineering firms.
“It is the most modern airport in Vietnam. It will have positive influences on the passengers’ experience here in the airport,” said Romy Berntsen, a project manager and architect at NACO.
Apart from being equipped with the latest airport technologies in the main terminal, and a state-of-the-art runway, Van Don International Airport features a design inspired by Vietnam’s popular landmark Halong Bay, which is just 50 km away.
In addition, Sun Group has unveiled two new major infrastructure projects in Quang Ninh: the new Halong-Van Don Highway and Halong International Cruise Port.
The new four-lane, 60-km-long highway is aimed to reduce the travel time from Van Don Airport to Halong city to just under 50 minutes. With a total investment of VND 1,032 billion (around US$43 million), the Halong International Cruise Port is said to be Vietnam’s first-ever cruise port dedicated exclusively to receiving international cruise ships.
Located in Bai Chay ward, Halong City, the new port can accommodate two cruise ships (each up to 225,000 GRT) at the same time and a total of 8,460 passengers, including crew. Designed by architect Bill Bensley, the port terminal is set to become a new landmark for the city and Quang Ninh province.
The opening of all three major infrastructure projects will play an immense role in tapping the province’s full tourism potential and create new opportunities for international trade and economic cooperation.