March, 01 2010 10:14:31

Industry airs ambitious aviation plans

HCM CITY — After more than 30 years of development since unification day, Viet Nam is equipped with basic infrastructure to reach its target of developing an advanced aviation industry.

The country now has aviation laws, a well-known national airline in the region, a well-planned cargo airport system and a flight management system in the form of the HCM City Flight Information Region (FIR). It also has operating maintenance and overhaul companies that service airlines.

Vietnam Airlines is now capable of performing a C-check, one of the most thorough types of maintenance works, on most of its aircraft.

The goal of aviation officials is to build up an airline industry of international stature and reach the standard of global manufacturing and supply chains, contributing to the country's GDP.

Those goals correspond to the Communist Party's policy to build Viet Nam into an industrialised country by 2020.

On April 10 of last year, the Prime Minister signed a decision to have Vietnam Airlines work with authorities to devise a long-term orientation to develop the national aviation industry.

In October, Vietnam Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) and European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to bring Viet Nam's aviation industry into the global manufacturing and supply chain for EADS.

As part of that MoU, the work will include manufacturing and assembling some components for the A123 aircraft in Viet Nam. The manufacture of other kinds of plane is expected at a later date.

Concurrently, Vietnam Airlines has negotiated with Mitsubishi, Boeing and other prestigious engine manufacturers and technology companies worldwide to establish joint-ventures in manufacturing, assembling, maintaining and overhauling aircraft engines and aviation parts.

The group aims to become the top manufacturer and supplier of components and parts for commercial aircraft by 2014, and then progress to design and make small airplanes, with the goal of placing Viet Nam squarely on the global aviation map.

From 2015 to 2020, Viet Nam would be able to meet all demand for repair and maintenance of aircraft bodies and wings. By 2016, 80 per cent of the repair of other aviation devices would be satisfied, under the plan.

Vietnam Airlines has set up a plan to build an up-to-date cargo and airport system, including two international airports in Ha Noi and HCM City.

Long Thanh Airport will be upgraded into an international multimedia airport that would serve 80 million-100 million passengers per year.

As for training, the target is to build an aviation university, basic pilot training schools, and specialised aviation training schools to meet the demand for pilots and engineers in Viet Nam.

According to the roadmap of Vietnam Airlines, aviation industry centres would be located in three regions, near Noi Bai Airport in Ha Noi, near Da Nang and Chu Lai airports in the central region, and near Long Thanh Airport in the south.

By 2020, the nation's aviation industry targets total income of about US$12 billion-$15 billion, accounting for 5-8 per cent of the country's GDP. The target would be 10 per cent for the coming years.

The roadmap states that 2010 is expected to be an important transitional year for the long-term plan drawn up by Vietnam Airlines. — VNS

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