The Ministry of Public Works and Transport’s Civil Aviation Department signed a contract for the Attapeu Airport Construction Project yesterday with the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAGL) of Vietnam.
The contract was signed at the Civil Aviation Department in Vientiane between department Director General Mr Yakua Lopangkao and Vice President of the HAGL Joint Stock Company Mr Nguyen Van Minh.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the project took place in February last year, but there have since been delays due to issues with the project’s concept design, which had to be resolved before construction could begin.
According to a report from the Civil Aviation Department, the department requested that the Airport Design and Construction Company (ADCC), the company contracted to do the design work, review several aspects of the basic design with which it was not satisfied.
Following this, the ADCC worked to come up with an improved concept design, which was agreed to and adopted in August last year. Last month, the department met with Lao technical officials to negotiate the conditions of the loan repayment, with HAGL to pay for the cost of construction up front.
The government will repay the cost of construction over a period of time by waiving various taxes and charges, equivalent to the value of the project budget. Both sides have reached agreement on the terms and conditions and construction can now go ahead.
The airport will be built by HAGL at a cost of over US$36 million and the Lao government will repay the company upon completion of the project. It will be handed over to the government for management following its completion.
The airport is located in Hadxan village in Xaysettha district, about 26km from the provincial capital. The project is divided into two phases. The first phase is situated on an area of over 165 hectares and construction will take 24 months from the date of signature.
This phase will see the runway built to a length of 1,850m and a width of 30m, which will accommodate aircraft of between 70 and 100 seats.
The apron can accommodate two planes and there will be a two-storey terminal building, power and water supplies, car parking and the necessary aviation communications systems.
The second phase, to run from 2015 to 2020, will enlarge the runway to a length of 3,000m and a width of 45m. It will then be able to accommodate aircraft with 150 to 250 seats.
The airport will facilitate greater cooperation between Attapeu and other parts of Laos, as well as with foreign countries.
It will also help to attract businesses and tourists to the province, boosting the local economy.
Source: Vientiane Times
By Phetsamone Chandala
May 11, 2013