|Noi Bai airport has been equipped with a transportation system for disabled people. Photo: Thanh Binh
HA NOI (VNS) — Although the majority of airports in Viet Nam provide special consideration to disabled passengers, incomplete infrastructure improvements remain, leaving many difficulties in place for those seeking basic transport.
General Director of Airports Corporation of Viet Nam Le Manh Hung said that only newly-built airports, such as Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Pleiku, Phu Bai, Phu Catù, along with Tho Xuan, Cat Bi and Vinh, have transportation systems and other facilities for the disabled.
Airports built more than five years ago mostly lack support for disabled customers.
"Most airports have arranged ramps for the disabled at access points and set aside chairs at the rate of not less than 5 per cent of total seats. Similarly, restrooms for the disabled are also guaranteed to be at least 5 per cent of total restrooms," Hung said, adding that airports that do not meet the above requirements will be scheduled to be repaired before 2020 to ensure better service accessibility.
Regarding equipment, Hung said, only 5 of 21 airports in Viet Nam, including Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Tan Son Nhat, along with Phu Quoc and Lien Khuong, have elevators to serve disabled people. Vinh, Cat Bi, Phu Bai, Can Tho, Tho Xuan, Pleiku, Dong Hoi, Buon Me Thuot and Phu Cat will focus on investing in such elevators during the next two years.
"Smaller local airports, such as Dien Bien, Chu Lai, Ca Mau, Rach Gia, and Con Dao airports will only consider investments if they plan to serve large-scale aircraft and the number of passengers tends to increase," Hung added.
Vietnam Airlines does not require disable passengers to be accompanied. Head of Service Department Dang Anh Tuan said if passengers request special services, they just need to complete a medical information form; therefore, the airlines will prepare staff and equipment to best-serve passengers from when they are on the ground to in the air.
Foreign airlines, such as China Airlines, Qantas Airways, Emirates Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, and Asiana Airlines, require disabled passengers to inform carriers about their health status at least 48 hours before departure.
They also require passengers to have someone fly with the disabled in case passengers needs stretchers or they have severe disabilities, such as hearing and vision impairment. — VNS