Đinh Việt Thắng. — Photo nhadautu.vn
Revisions to the country’s plan for the aviation industry up until 2020, with a vision towards 2030, were recently approved by the Government. The new plan aims for the aviation market in Việt Nam to be among ASEAN’s top four in terms of shipping volume by 2030.
Đinh Việt Thắng, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam, speaks to Vietnam News Agency about the implementation of the plan.
How will approval of the amended development plan on aviation transport by 2020, looking toward 2030, affect the development of the domestic aviation industry in the future?
Decision 21/QĐ-TTg approving the plan on the national aviation transport development by 2020, with a vision towards 2030, was approved by the Prime Minister on January 8, 2009.
After nine years of implementation, the position and role of the domestic aviation industry have been strengthened and developed further. This has contributed significantly to the socio-economic development, defense and security of the country.
In the future, many new factors will affect the development of the domestic aviation industry in Việt Nam. We forecast that the aviation market that will continue its double-digit growth rate. In addition, the demand for domestic air transport will increase.
Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has greater demand for technological and technical standards, quality of security and safety as well as quality of service and environmental protection.
The ICAO also requires countries to implement comprehensive reforms for their aviation industry. Airline firms must strengthen their competitiveness through the development of a modern aircraft fleet and use of advanced technique and technology.
Along with that, Việt Nam has demand for investment in aviation infrastructure development, while the state capital is not able to meet the demand. The key project of Long Thành International Airport was approved by the National Assembly while land for Tân Sơn Nhất, Nội Bài and Đà Nẵng airports is supplemented.
Therefore, the plan for national aviation transport development needed to be adjusted to meet current demands for the development of the local aviation industry.
The Prime Minister issued Decision 236/QĐ-TTg on February 23, 2018 to approve the adjustments.
Under the adjustment plan, Việt Nam will change targets for developing the local aviation industry, including route networks, fleet of aircraft, airport network, management and operation of flights, aviation business, human resources and training and environmental protection.
Decision 236 will certainly create a higher legal framework and boost the processes of innovation, comprehensive integration and sustainable development, improving the competitiveness and image of the aviation industry on the world market.
What are directions of the aviation sector with regard to sustainable development under the amended plan?
In recent years, the local aviation industry has grown quickly. In the period 2010-17, the aviation market of Việt Nam achieved an average growth rate of 16.64 per cent in passengers and 14 per cent in cargo per year. The total volume of traffic through airports reached a year-on-year increase of 16.91 per cent for passengers and 13 per cent for cargo per year. Flight operating capacity grew 12 per cent every year.
To meet the high growth rate of the aviation industry, the adjusted development plan contains many tactics to implement sustainable development and international integration of the aviation market.
The state will mobilise all investment resources to develop aviation infrastructure and to implement a roadmap for the liberalisation of air transport based on bilateral and multilateral agreements. The plan has adjusted some development targets in aviation transport, airports and management of flight operation as well as added some directions to make development goals better suited to facts on the ground.
Under the plan, the State encourages the opening of international flights to and from local airports in cities and provinces with potential in tourism development, and the development of specialised aviation logistics centres. The plan has added a target on environmental protection.
To ensure the sustainable development of the aviation industry, the State has added policies on the equitisation of state-owned enterprises to the plan, including identifying the key role of the aviation industry in each field. The aviation industry should establish a centre for research, development and application of technology and techniques in the aviation industry to meet demand on the development of the local aviation in the Industry 4.0.
Local industry will take the lead in the development of human resources in the aviation sector and develop training centres for pilots.
Fields of the local aviation industry must development synchronously and with close cooperation to ensure sustainable development in the future.
Why does the plan adjust the number of airports and targeted opening date for some airports?
The plan has adjusted the number of airports and the timing for starting operations in order to improve the efficiency in aviation transport, and domestic, regional and international transport, as well as support for the development of localities with potential in tourism development.
By 2020, Việt Nam will have 23 airports under the adjusted plan, a reduction from 26 airports under initial planning. Of which, the nation will have 10 international airports. Now, the nation has 21 airports for civil aviation transport activities.
Meanwhile, by 2030, it will have 28 airports, higher than 26 airports under the initial plan, including 10 to 13 international airports.
The State has added new airports of Phan Thiết, Quảng Trị, Thọ Xuân and Lại Châu to the plan to meet the demand at those airports that are expected to see traffic increase sharply because the airports are located in localities with strong tourism appeal and play important roles in socio-economic development, defence, rescue work and local and regional routes.
Some airports are taken out of the plan, including Gia Lâm and Vũng Tàu, because the Gia Lâm Airport has had flights for tourism and training but has not had civil aviation flights while the Vũng Tàu Airport is a small one mainly serving the petroleum sector and has low demand for civil aviation flights. Moreover, Vũng Tàu Airport is near the Long Thành International Airport that will come into operation in the future.
The plan encourages airlines companies to restructure their fleets to increase planes. How does the activity affect aviation infrastructure?
In this master plan, the fields will develop in ways that ensure synchronism, scientific progress and close relationships with each other to ensure feasibility during the implementation of the plan.
The adjustment on fleet development, in general, is based on the fleet development plan of airline firms in Việt Nam, route networks, the frequency of exploitation, market growth target, development plans and the capacity of airports. It is also based on the standards, capability and plans for investment and development of airport infrastructure. — VNS