Lao airports will switch their focus to international and domestic cargo transport on top of regular passenger travel under an ambitious new government air transport system plan.
The plan was approved and announced at the recent annual government meeting between cabinet, the Vientiane Mayor and provincial governors in Vientiane.
With its position as a landlocked country in mind, the government described the planned development of the Lao air transport system as a “geographical need”.
Wattay International Airport in Vientiane is set to become the primary hub in the regional link, with international airports in the provinces designated as secondary hubs.
The government has instructed authorities to earmark land at the 40km mark in Pakngeum district along National Road No. 13 South for a second international airport in Vientiane to accommodate the growing air transport industry over the next three to four decades, according to the meeting resolution.
According to a recent JICA study, Wattay International Airport, if developed to full capacity, could handle the country\’s economic needs until 2030 when the airport, which currently welcomes about 800,000 passengers a year, is expected to welcome 3 million passengers annually.
The meeting also agreed to build an international airport in the Seno area of Savannakket province, where the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone is being developed, for the future transport of goods like electronic appliances.