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Bamboo parent proposes building Ho Chi Minh City T3

Vietnam's FLC Group has submitted a proposal to the country's government to build a third passenger terminal at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International airport.

FLC proposes to build the terminal and its supporting infrastructure on a 16.4ha (40.5 acres) land parcel now owned by the defence ministry for D11 trillion ($474 million).

The 100,000sqm terminal would be capable of handling up to 20 million passengers, raising Tan Son Nhat's handling capacity to around 45-50 million passengers annually, says FLC.

No other details were shared by the company.

FLC's proposal to build the terminal comes nearly a year after Vietnam's prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a plan in April 2018 propsed by French consulting firm ADP-Ingénierie.

In the plan that he approved, a new terminal south of the airport's two runways is to be built, and that a golf course located north of the airport be closed after 2025, allowing the area to be developed for cargo handling and MRO work.

Other proposals had called for a new terminal to be built on the site of the golf course, but this would have precluded connectivity with the airport's two terminals. In 2017, the airport handled 36 million passengers, well above its design capacity of 25 million.

Should the project gain government approval, FLC Group chairman Trinh Van Quyet claims that it will be able to have the terminal operational "after one year of construction". He also cited FLC's experience of completing projects "in short time with good quality," in an attempt to win government support.

Besides Ho Chi Minh City, FLC had previously expressed interest in developing aviation-related infrastructure at Tho Xuan, as well as an MRO facility in Van Don. It also owns Bamboo Airways, which began operations on 16 January. At the end of February, Bamboo firmed up an order for 10 Boeing 787-9s. The 10 aircraft are part of of its commitment for 20 of the type first announced in June 2018.

Cirium schedules data shows that in February, Vietnam Airlines is the largest carrier to operate out of Ho Chi Minh City. Low-cost operators VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific were the next two largest carriers to fly out of the airport.

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