Dreams of flying high and aspiration to develop

More than 100 years ago, in 1921, after establishing the civil province of Lao Cai, the French colonialists built Coc Leu airport for military purposes, affirming its superiority in military, economic, technical potential of the West, claiming imperial rule.

After a long journey, along with the new position of the country, Lao Cai is also making strong changes, becoming the center of the Northwest region. Sa Pa Airport is about to start construction as a symbol of the high flying dream and development aspirations of generations of leaders and people of Lao Cai ethnic groups.

Cam Con Commune (Bao Yen) these days is like a great construction site, the sun is dyed red by the wind and dust, dozens of mechanical vehicles are divided into many mountains and hills racing against time to catch up with the commencement of the project. Households in the area of site clearance for the construction of Sa Pa Airport Project have moved to the resettlement area, starting a new life.

It is not by chance that Cam Con was chosen to build an airport, before that, many locations were surveyed such as Gia Phu, Son Ha, Bao Ha, but they did not meet the requirements. Cam Con converges all factors from moderate geographical distance to the center of the province and Sa Pa National Tourist Area, not too close to the border, mountainous terrain but relatively flat because it is located on the strip of riverside land. Looking from above, imagining the image of modern airport in the midst of deep green hills and by the winding Red River, you can see that this area has terrain like no other.

In order for people to agree, sacrifice their own interests, and work together for great things, it is necessary to be open and transparent in site clearance and resettlement.

COMRADE TO NGOC LIEN

CHAIRMAN OF THE PEOPLE’S COMMITTEE OF BAO YEN DISTRICT

There is another important point to confirm that the location of the airport here is correct, because the people of Cam Con wholeheartedly agree with the policy of the State, after only nearly 2 years, hundreds of hectares of land have been cleared. With a large deployment volume, moreover, Sa Pa Airport is the second airport in the country assigned by the Government to the locality to implement, so right after the Prime Minister's decision approving the investment policy to be issued, Lao Cai province has urgently completed the detailed planning on construction of airport functional areas and submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam for appraisal; completing the construction of the resettlement area, organizing the site clearance to hand over to the investor selected to implement the project; prioritizing balancing resources for project implementation, closely coordinating with central ministries and branches in appraising feasibility study reports for project approval, investor selection... Regardless of holidays or weekend, provincial leaders always take advantage of going to the construction site to check the progress, urge the contractor to build the resettlement area, encourage households, those who sacrifice their own interests, have to leave their homes and give up their land to carry out the project.

To speed up the project, the province has prioritized balancing of 1,200 billion dong from the local budget, the remaining nearly 3,000 billion dong will be mobilized by investors. In addition, the province has invested in building the resettlement area with a total cost of nearly 409 billion dong to stabilize housing for households affected by the project. For the province with difficulties like Lao Cai, balancing nearly 1,600 billion dong in construction investment is a great effort.

Van Don Airport (Quang Ninh) with private investment only takes 27 months from the date of commencement to the first flight. Lao Cai expects that with the similar construction investment method, Sa Pa Airport will soon be completed and put into operation in the period of 2020 - 2025.

Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Trinh Xuan Truong has repeatedly affirmed that the construction of Sa Pa Airport is the dream and aspiration that has been formed for a long time by the leaders of Lao Cai province over the periods. That is also the desire of the people of Lao Cai ethnic groups.

Arising from that desire, Lao Cai province proposed to the central government the form of public-private partnership investment (PPP). The Prime Minister's approval of the investment policy of Sa Pa Airport with a total cost of nearly 7,000 billion dong in the form of PPP has met the expectations and hope of the Party committees, authorities and people of ethnic groups in Lao Cai province. 

Building Sa Pa Airport is the dream and aspiration of the leaders of Lao Cai province over the years. That is also the desire of the people of Lao Cai ethnic groups.

COMRADE TRINH XUAN TRUONG

CHAIRMAN OF THE PEOPLE’S COMMITTEE OF LAO CAI PROVINCE

The 16th Lao Cai Provincial Party Congress, for the period of 2020-2025, has identified two breakthrough areas: Developing transport infrastructure, giving priority to the development of key traffic works and urban infrastructure; large urban infrastructure, industrial parks and tourist areas; investment in information and telecommunications infrastructure, digital infrastructure, creating foundation for digital transformation, gradually developing the digital economy and digital society, at the same time building the smart city and developing tourism and services. Noi Bai - Lao Cai expressway is identified as the important connection axis; Lao Cai - Hanoi - Hai Phong railway line is considered as the driving force for development associated with the Kunming - Lao Cai - Hanoi - Hai Phong - Quang Ninh economic corridor; and Sa Pa Airport is set for the role as a driving force. Many large enterprises and strategic groups coming to explore investment and business opportunities in Lao Cai are looking forward to this driving force. Looking at the impact of Noi Bai - Lao Cai expressway from the time it was put into operation up to now, we will see the role of Sa Pa Airport in tourism, commerce, and investment attraction.

Overview of the Resettlement Area of Sapa Airport

According to the development plan of Lao Cai province in the period of 2021 - 2030, after 2030, it will continue to upgrade and complete the project's items with a capacity of 3 million passengers/year, ensuring the ability to operate flights international routine when the need arises. In case when airlines need to expand regular international flights and have secure infrastructure, they shall make a dossier and request the Prime Minister's permission to convert it into an international airport.

At the last Prime Minister's Discussion with farmers in 2022 in Son La, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said that the biggest bottleneck for the economic development of the Northwest provinces is traffic. Therefore, two tasks must be solved: The first task is to connect the Northwest with regions and areas in the country and the world, and the second is to connect localities with the central transport system. Sapa - Lao Cai airport is one of the main airports of the Northwest connecting to regions of the country and abroad.

Sa Pa Airport when being invested and put into operation will have a great impact on Lao Cai province in particular, the Northwest region and the whole country in general, gradually contributing to the improvement of the province's transport infrastructure; promoting regional linkages of Lao Cai with localities of Vietnam and the vast southwestern region of China. Creating connections with Vietnam's major tourist centers in the central and southern regions of the country and with the market of more than 300 million people in the southwestern provinces of China; the key trade bridge of the Northwest with the whole country and the ASEAN region in general. Sa Pa Airport will be an important bridge for the development of trade, tourism - services, and at the same time a solution to attract and develop the province's tourism industry, making tourism leading economic sector in accordance with the orientation of the Resolution of the 16th Lao Cai Provincial Party Congress, period of 2020 - 2025.

According to Manh Dung/LCDT

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