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USTDA Announces Support for Airport Expansion in Vietnam at APEC Ministerial Meeting

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(USTDA)  SAN FRANCISCO, CA Today, at the 7th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Ministerial Meeting, USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak signed a grant agreement with the Middle Airports Corporation (MAC) to help expand Chu Lai International Airport, the largest airfield in Vietnam. The grant will fund a feasibility study to determine the viability of the Chu Lai Airport becoming a regional cargo hub, thus helping to increase the operations of U.S. cargo carriers in Southeast Asia.

The $538,886 feasibility study will determine the market potential, identify the infrastructure needs, and recommend a public-private investment and financing arrangement for the airport expansion plans. USTDA previously partnered with MAC to fund the Da Nang Airport Passenger Terminal expansion study, which generated more than $4 million in exports for U.S. companies. The new terminal at Da Nang Airport will open in January 2012.

Director Zak's participation in the APEC Transportation Ministerial demonstrates the Agency's commitment to help expand and modernize transportation infrastructure while ensuring U.S. companies continue to play a critical role in this effort in the region. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood chaired the Ministerial meeting that was attended by Transport Ministers from across APEC region.

Joining Director Zak in signing the grant agreement was General Director of MAC, Le Xuan Tung. The grant signing was witnessed by Secretary LaHood and Vietnam's Vice Minister for Transport Ngo Thinh Duc.

"Vietnam's aviation industry is growing at a remarkable and exciting pace," said Director Zak. "We're pleased to help introduce U.S. companies to these market opportunities, which will continue to strengthen the valuable U.S.-Vietnam trade relationship."

"The United States is pleased to sign this important aviation agreement with our friends in Vietnam," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. "Not only will it help facilitate increased trade and stronger relationships among the people and businesses of our economies, it also demonstrates exactly the kind of cooperation that we'd like to see more of, both within our APEC region and around the globe."

Vietnam is projected to become one of the fastest growing aviation markets for international and domestic passenger and freight traffic in the region. To accommodate this growth, the Government of Vietnam has identified at least seven key airports throughout the country to be constructed or expanded under public-private partnership arrangements. As a state-owned corporation under the Ministry of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authority, MAC is responsible for the development of Chu Lai Airport located in the central part of the country near significant industrial business operations.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded feasibility study will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcements will be posted to USTDA's website at Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. The Middle Airports Corporation will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the feasibility study.