Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Cracks and other signs of degradation have been found on two runways in HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport and Hà Nội’s Nội Bài International Airport.
“If the two runways are not fixed soon, it could lead to the suspension of operation of the runways,” the Ministry of Transport said in a recent document.
The document, signed by Deputy Minister Lê Đình Thọ, was sent to the Ministry of Finance asking the agency to allow the transport ministry to use the revenue from exploiting the airports’ flying area to fix the runways.
Repairs are estimated to cost about VNĐ4.5 trillion (US$193.5 million), Giao thông (Transport) online newspaper reported.
According to Thọ, the major cause of the degradation was that runway 07L/25R in Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport and runway 1B of Nội Bài International Airport have been overexploited for a long time.
Although the two runways have been found to be degraded, the overuse has continued due to high travelling demand in the past time, he said.
“So, it’s imperative to maintain and repair the two runways now,” he said.
The cracks and signs of degradation are believed to pose risks to flight safety, he added.
Previously, the transport ministry had submitted requests to the Government for additional funds, withdrawn from the Government’s reserve fund, to fix the runways but the request failed.
Đinh Việt Thắng, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam, said in a document replying to the request of the ministry that the Government told the ministry to pay for repairs by re-arranging the capital investment that the Government already gave the ministry for the 2016-20 period.
Lại Xuân Thanh, Chairman of the Board of VAC, said runway 07L/25R was put into operation in June 2013 with designed capacity of 55,100 take-offs and landing over 10 years.
Nevertheless, data from the VAC shows that the runway has facilitated 126,000 take-offs and landings between June 2013 and April 2018.
Runway 1B was put into operation in 2003 and was designed for 10,500 take-offs and landings over 20 years. However, the figure was up to 284,200 by April 2018, he said.
Thanh also acknowledged the risk that operations on the runways could be suspended if maintenance is not prompt.
The suspension would put more pressures on the other runways of the two airports and reduce the capacity of the country’s two most crowded airports, he said. —VNS