His approval comes after his recent working trip to the northern province.
He told the Ministry of Transport to work with the province to propose investment forms for submission to the Government for approval.
Quang Ninh proposed a joint venture with South Korea’s Joinus Co. to develop the airport in Doan Ket Commune, near the World Heritage site of Halong Bay.
The South Korean investor has been asked to submit investment proposals to the ministry and relevant agencies before the project went before the Prime Minister, Quang Ninh Province says on its website. In addition to the BOT, the ministry asked the foreign investor to consider the build-transfer (BT) format.
Dinh Viet Thang, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, said the administration was completing a zoning plan for the project and would send it to the ministry for approval this month.
Thang told the Daily that investment proposals and forms would be selected after authorities had approved the Van Don airport zoning plan. He added this domestic airport would be able to handle international flights when it was up and running in compliance with the conclusion document.
But Thang did not elaborate on the planned construction and opening of the airport project, as it would depend much on the pace of preparations including selection of an investment form and investors involved.
In mid-2010, Joinus suggested its investment plan for the Van Don airport project covering nearly 400 hectares. The Korean investor also proposed its involvement in building an expressway link between Halong City and Van Don at an estimated cost of over US$1 billion.
The airport project is part of the Van Don Economic Zone near Halong Bay, and local authorities are determined to turn Van Don into an international trade and high-end tourism area to support the major economic zone, which was established in 2007.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Dung chose Tien Lang District in Haiphong City as the location for a new international airport that will replace the existing Cat Bi airport for international flights in the future. The 4,500-hectare international airport, expected to serve as a satellite airport for Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, will be able to receive up to 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo a year by 2050.