Viet Nam News
Nguyễn Nhật, Deputy Minister of Transport, spoke to Vietnam News Agency about the need to expand Nội Bài International Airport.
Can you give us some information about the future expansion plan for Nội Bài International Airport?
In 2009, the Government approved a master plan for the development of the country’s aviation industry by 2020 with a vision towards 2030.
However, in 2015, Hoàng Trung Hải, the then Deputy Prime Minister, assigned the Ministry of Transport to revise that master plan, which was called Plan 21, to make it more suitable to the country’s socio-economic development as well as to the development of the aviation industry in the future.
The country’s rapid socio-economic development and its deeper and wider international integration have required Plan 21 to be revised.
That’s why the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) conducted research to revise Plan 21. It is expected that later this month, the revised Plan 21 will be ready to submit to the Prime Minister to consider and approve.
During the revision of Plan 21, we realised the need to expand Nội Bài International Airport. The Ministry of Transport (MOT) came up with several options regarding the future expansion of the present Nội Bài International Airport.
Under the old plan, by 2020, Nội Bài airport would receive 20 million passengers. However, in reality, in 2015, it already received 17.5 million. Based on the two figures, during the discussion, all participants saw the urgent need to expand the Nội Bài airport. The change this time will target a plan by 2030 and the following years.
For example, if by 2030 the number of passengers who arrive at Nội Bài International Airport reaches 40 million, how big must the airport be so that it can cater to such a huge number of passengers? This is a question that needs to be discussed and addressed carefully.
During meetings, we came up with five or six scenarios. But until now, which scenario is the best one remains up in the air.
Of course, any changes to Plan 21 must be carefully reviewed by relevant ministries, sectors and localities before submitting to the Prime Minister for approval.
I just want to stress that the plan to expand Nội Bài International Airport has just been put on the table for discussion. No final conclusion has been made, as it has been reported in the media recently.
At present, Nội Bài International Airport has been surrounded by quite a few construction projects. What affect, if any, will these projects have on the future expansion of the airport?
Following the approval of Plan 21 by the PM, the MOT developed a master plan for Nội Bài airport.
In this case, if the land reserved for the Nội Bài airport as regulated in Plan 21 cannot cater to 70 million or even 80 million passengers a year, we have to expand the airport area.
If this occurs, the expansion of the airport is a must, although it may affect residential areas surrounding the airport. In my opinion, the most important data we desperately need is reliable information on the number of passengers and cargo volume that will be handled at the airport by 2030.
However, when we talk about the expansion of the airport, we cannot forget to consider a very important factor – is there any land available for the airport expansion? Do we have money to compensate the land owners and others affected?
Perhaps we could build a new airport in another locality that is in a better location and costs less money than expanding the present Nội Bài airport. This is food for thought! We have to put everything on the table, not only for the Nội Bài airport, but for other airports as well.
Does the proposal on the Nội Bài airport expansion include a budgeting component?
Of course! The budget is an essential component in any project. Whether a project is feasible or not, it needs matched efforts between the construction planning and budget estimation proposal.
At the moment, the budget component for the adjustment of Plan 21 is being analysed by the consultant agency. - VNS