|Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City. Lack of fencing could result in people or animals walking onto airport runways, so the Ministry of Transport plans to install security fencing at all 21 airports in the next few years. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HA NOI (VNS)— All 21 airports across Viet Nam are expected to install security fencing in the next few years in an effort to set up a safety corridor for both the airports and surrounding residential areas.
In an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, head of the Transport Ministry's Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam Lai Xuan Thanh said only a few of the nation's 21 airports have proper fencing.
This lack of fencing could result in people or animals walking onto airport runways, and threaten the airport security, he said, noting that at some airports, staff were mobilised to keep animals off runways when planes to land or take off.
The shortage of airport fencing also caused households in surrounding areas to expand onto airport property and consequently, having been built too close to the airport, were vulnerable to sound pollution and other problems.
For example, late last month and last Monday, two houses in Ward 5, HCM City's Go Vap District, that are situated near Tan Son Nhat Airport, had their roof tiles blown off by passing airplanes.
For a long time, people living near the airports have complained about when airplanes are landing or taking off.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported that in 1975, Tan Son Nhat Airport had been planned to cover an area of 3,600 hectares, but due to a lack of vision and improper planning, parts of the airport lands were allocated for people and organisations. Yet today, the airport covers an area of 1,500ha, hosting about 400 flights daily.
According to Go Vap District's Urban Management Department, in 2002 the HCM City People's Committee approved a proposal by Tan Son Nhat Airport for the removal of local houses to create a five-metre safety corridor for the airport.
People living in the corridor would not be able to build new houses and could not receive land-use rights certificates because of delays of house removals, said Le Hoang Ha, vice chairman of the Go Vap People's Committee.
Vice director of HCM City's Planning and Architecture Department Nguyen Thanh Toan said it was necessary to set up an airport safety corridor, but site clearance and land acquisitions might cause trouble for local residents.
Moreover, it was difficult to allocate funding for the removal and resettlement of area families, he said.
The case of planning for Tan Son Nhat Airport raised the issue about planning at other airports, as well as the living standards for people living nearby airports.
Thanh from the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam said that the Minister of Transport asked the Aviation Corporation of Viet Nam to make plans and arrange funding to build fences at all of the airports.
Fencing requirements would cost about VND1 trillion (US$47.6 million), he said.
He noted that Viet Nam only had space for airports and their neighbourhood, implying a maximum height of buildings should be set, though no minimum distance has been set from the airport to residential areas to avoid impacts of sound pollution.
The ministry is to study and issue criteria for controlling noise at airports. — VNS