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Defense Ministry ready to hand over golf course land for airport expansion

The Ministry of Defense is ready to hand over land at the golf course inside the Tan Son Nhat International Airport should the airport be expanded toward the north, said Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich.

A golfer plays at the golf course inside the Tan Son Nhat International Airport premises. 

General Lich was quoted by local media as saying at a working session with the HCMC government, the Transport Ministry, and Saigon Newport Corporation July 12 that “the Ministry of Defense will certainly take back land from the Tan Son Nhat golf course if the Government requests it to do so.”

There have recently been calls for the Ministry of Defense to take back 157 hectares of land from the golf course and hand it over to the Ministry of Transport to expand the airport faced with ever-rising overload.

Speaking at the meeting July 12, General Lich said the ministry had already transferred thousands of hectares of military land to cities and provinces nationwide so that they could carry out projects intended to fuel socio-economic growth.

The ministry has handed over 177.3 hectares of land to the HCMC government since 2004. And it has adjusted the master zoning plan for Tan Son Nhat airport four times since 2007, and as a result, the Transport Ministry has taken over 98.7 hectares of military land to build taxiways and aircraft parking slots, among others.

The minister noted his ministry has plans to hand over an extra 14 hectares to the Transport Ministry to implement expansion projects in the southern part of the nation’s busiest airport.

The Defense Ministry earlier this year also ordered a stop to construction of restaurants, villas and other facilities at Long Bien and Tan Son Nhat golf courses.

However, he said, military-land handovers should be done in line with the prevailing regulations and master plans, and the legitimate rights and interests of investors should be protected.

The Defense Ministry has let HCMC use 10.5 hectares of military land to build and expand roads in recent years.

The city now needs to expand Tan Son and Hoang Hoa Tham roads and around 6.6 hectares of military land will be required to carry out these projects.

“The Defense Ministry will create the most favorable conditions for the local government,” Minister Lich said. “But land at strategic defense locations cannot be relinquished.”


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