Ministry raises concerns over airport operational rights' sale

Monday, May 11, 2015 16:23

A corner of Phu Quoc International Airport in southern Kien Giang Province. Two non-airlines sector businesses -- T&T Group and Lien Thai Duong Group – are in the race to get operational rights of Phu Quoc Airport. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The finance ministry agrees with the transport ministry's plan for socialisation of investment for airline infrastructure.

However, it is concerned about the other ministry's pilot sale of operational rights to airlines, which could lead to unhealthy competition, according to the online

In a document sent to the government recently, the finance ministry mentioned the sale of operational rights to domestic investors at Phu Quoc International Airport. In the document, the ministry noted that the use of funds collected from the sale of the airport's operational rights for the construction of Long Thanh International Airport would be decided by the shareholders of the Airports Corporation of Viet Nam (ACV), which had been managing and operating Phu Quoc Airport. The State cannot interfere with administrative instructions.

The finance ministry said the transport ministry's report showed that as Phu Quoc Airport was operated by ACV's capital, even if the Prime Minister agreed to the pilot sale of operational rights at this airport, the use of the funds collected from the sales would be decided by ACV's shareholders.

Earlier, the transport leaders affirmed that the money collected from the sale of operational rights at Phu Quoc Airport would contribute to the investment in Long Thanh Airport, after the National Assembly approved the construction of the airport.

The finance ministry said ACV has completed its corporate value assessment and has been implementing steps for equitisation. Its valuation included 22 international and domestic airports, including Phu Quoc Airport.

ACV's value is estimated to be VND38 trillion (US$1.75 billion).

The State budget management body also said Phu Quoc Airport was not on the list of businesses that would follow the Government decree 128/2014/NĐ-CP, dated December 31, 2014, on sale and transfer of 100 per cent of state-owned capital in enterprises, as well as the form of transfer under an operate–manage (O&M) basis of the Government decree 15/2015/ND-CP on public-private partnership (PPP) investment, as proposed by the transport ministry.

"Therefore, the transport ministry needs to clarify whether it would separate Phu Quoc Airport from the ACV's valuation, when it summits the ACV equitisation plan for approval to the Prime Minister," the finance ministry said.

Two non-airlines sector businesses -- T&T Group and Lien Thai Duong Group – are in the race to get operational rights of Phu Quoc Airport.

In March this year, the transport ministry requested the Prime Minister to allow the sale of operational rights of Phu Quoc Airport on an O&M basis to domestic investors. The funds gained from the sale will contribute to the investment capital in Long Thanh Airport.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air are competing for the northern Noi Bai Airport's Terminal 1.

All businesses want to auctions to be held, but the ACV is being cautious and is studying to find the best way to resolve this issue. — VNS

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