Photo: Duc Anh
Deputy PM chairs meeting on expanding HCMC airport to meet increasing passenger numbers.
The government has called for the urgent expansion of Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport before it becomes seriously overcrowded.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung chaired a meeting on August 11 with the Ministry of Defense, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), and relevant agencies to discuss measures to address the overcrowding.
According to Mr. Lại Xuan Thanh, Head of CAAV, Tan Son Nhat’s capacity already exceeds its capacity of 25 million passengers a year and it is forecast that numbers will reach 31 million passengers in the end of this year.
“The situation has affected services and the operations of airlines,” Mr. Thanh said. “On August 15 CAAV will reduce flight numbers to under 40 during peak hours instead of 42.”
A leader at the airport said that it became overloaded at the beginning of this year, with the domestic terminal catering to 50 per cent more passengers than capacity.
In 2015 the airport served 181,000 flights, an increase of 18 per cent year-on-year carrying 26.5 million passengers. As at June 28 this year it had welcomed 106,600 flights, an increase of 21.8 per cent year-on-year.
“Solutions to resolve congestion at Tan Son Nhat have become urgent,” Deputy Prime Minister Dung emphasized.
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has directed Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) to study and implement plans to expand the two passenger terminals to increase total capacity to 30 million passengers a year. The expansion will begin at the end of the year.
The need for the expansion has become pressing as capacity is being pushed not just in the passenger terminals but also on the aprons and runways, said an airport official.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has agreed to transfer about 19.7 ha of land to MoT, where 30 aprons will be built.
MoD has also agreed to a plan to widen Hoang Hoa Tham Street and build a new road running parallel with Cong Hoa Street from the Phan Thuc Duyen intersection through to the new land plot.
MoD previously agreed to allocate 7.63 ha of land to MoT to expand the airport, of which 4 ha has been handed over.
Under planning for roads connecting to the airport, Truong Son Road will have six lanes and the Tan Son Nhat - Binh Loi Road will also be completed.