The bid to operate Phu Quoc airport

May 29, 2015 | 17:00
(0) user say
The transport authority proves consistent with its policy of only allowing domestic investors to join the race for securing the rights to operate Phu Quoc International Airport, located in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang –one of the first projects seeking to diversify investment into the country’s aviation infrastructure.

In a recent report related to the project on privatising investment into airport infrastructure en route to the Politburo, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang confirmed that during the pilot implementation of giving the rights to operate the airport only domestic bidders will be considered.

Thang also said Phu Quoc airport was chosen for pilot implementation because the airport has enjoyed sufficient conditions to appeal to investors.

Specifically, the construction of the airport was entirely handled by the state-owned Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the major airport operator and developer in the country; its size is not too big and it is not used to handle military activities on a frequent basis.

For its project to privatise airport infrastructure, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) has proposed two scenarios relevant to the transfer of operation rights of Phu Quoc airport.

In the first scenario, the chosen investor would be given the right to operate the entirety of the airport, except for some specific items retained by the state.

According to the second scenario, the chosen investor would only be allowed to operate the terminal, while the ACV would remain responsible for managing and operating the flight area. However, under this scenario the ACV would need to offset losses every year as the revenues from this operational plan would be insufficient to cover maintenance and exploitation expenses.

“The MoT will draw up a detailed plan, with suitable methods on choosing investors, for submission to the government in the near future,” said Thang.

Referring to the implementation method, Thang stated: “In the upcoming time, only domestic investors will be chosen for the pilot implementation of this project. Then, based on the outcomes, we will make appraisals for wider application in a later period.”

The $183 million Phu Quoc International Airport entered operation in December 2012. It currently has the capacity to handle four million passengers per year.

If the pilot project results in success, it will open the door for private sector investment to venture into Vietnamese airport infrastructure development.

The MoT has compiled a wish-list consisting of 11 projects, three of which involve transferring the right to operate airport infrastructure. Besides Phu Quoc airport and T1 terminal at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), the MoT is considering offering the right to operate Can Tho International Airport’s passenger terminal in the forthcoming time.

By By Anh Minh

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional