Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City Party Committee Secretary Đinh La Thăng has called for the Government to immediately address the problem of congestion at Tân Sơn Nhất, Việt Nam’s largest airport.
Thăng made the request during a visit by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to the City at the end of last month.
“Except for the Prime Minister’s flights, all other flights are always delayed due to airport congestion,” he said.
Đỗ Tất Bình, deputy general director of Airports Corporation of Việt Nam (ACV), said the number of passengers was expected to reach 31 million a year by the end of 2016 and 40 million by 2018.
Both figures exceed the airport’s capacity of 16 million domestic and 8-10 million international travelers a year, affecting airport services and airline operations.
Bình said passenger terminals and airplane parking areas, runways and roads leading to the airport are all overloaded.
Deputy minister of Transport Nguyễn Nhật said Tân Sơn Nhất airport was congested both in the air and on the ground.
For instance, many flights must wait on the runway after landing due to a shortage in parking slots and some flights have to circle the area due to a lack of runway availability and parking. The airport needs more than 80 parking slots but only has 50.
The congestion has cost airlines operating at the airport millions of US dollars, Nhật said.
Last year, the Ministry of Transport approved a detailed plan to expand Tân Sơn Nhất airport in the 2020-30 period.
Under the plan, the airport would have 82 parking slots, including 54 for civil aviation and 28 for both civil and military craft.
The Ministry of Defence promised last year to hand over 20 hectares of land near Tân Sơn Nhất airport to the Ministry of Transport for the airport expansion, but it has yet to do so.
The land would be used to improve transportation infrastructure as well as to expand Cộng Hòa Street in Tân Bình District that leads to the airport.
Gov’t support needed
Dương Trí Thành, general director of Vietnam Airlines, said the overloading at the airport had affected the operation of many airlines.
Thành urged support from the Government, the ministries of transport and defence as well as the city administration.
Nhật said it was vital to improve and expand airports across the country, especially Tân Sơn Nhất airport, pledging to speed up the airport expansion project.
The transport ministry urged defence authorities to hand over the land for expansion, as well as to shift the operation of military planes to other airports, like Cam Ranh airport in the central province of Khánh Hoà and Cần Thơ airport in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta.
According to Nhật, the city administration also needs to resolve congestion on roads leading to the airport.
Trường Sơn Road is a main road to the airport, with six lanes, but traffic jams on that road, as well as on Hồng Hà and Bạch Đằng streets in the airport area occur frequently given that the peak hours for flights coincide with rush hour in the city.
Recently, Nhật asked the Việt Nam Civil Aviation Administration to reduce the number of flights during peak hours (4pm-6pm) to curb congestion at the Tân Sơn Nhất airport.
During the summer, flight frequency is expected to peak, with more than 750 flights per day. — VNS