|Passengers at the domestic terminal at Tân Sơn Nhất airport. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — The country’s largest and busiest airport, Tân Sơn Nhất in HCM City, has taken measures to ease domestic air overcrowding during the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, which falls on January 22.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has allowed airlines to increase flight frequency at the airport based on the travelling needs of people during Tết, the country’s biggest and most important holiday.
During January 17-21 and January 25-29, the total number of additional flights will be 28 flights per day, or 5,600 seats per day. The total number of added flights will be 280 flights, or 56,000 seats, during the periods.
The CAAV has required airlines to ensure the effective use of take off and landing slots.
Nguyễn Nam Tiến, deputy director of Tân Sơn Nhất airport, said airport authorities have prepared plans to meet the upcoming high demand.
All units have been ordered to closely monitor the flight schedule, frequency and density of flight operations in each time frame and arrange personnel to ensure airport services.
Airlines and ground service units have been asked to allocate enough staff to deal with any incidents and minimise delayed and cancelled flights.
Airport authorities have developed an online domestic flight information display system to help passengers easily find their flights online.
Currently, information on domestic flights to and from the airport is only displayed on FIDS screens at designated areas at the airport (such as at departure and arrival halls, check-in counters, departure gates and baggage claim carousels).
Airport authorities have also taken measures to ease congestion on roads leading to the airport.
The Southern Airports Authority and Tân Sơn Nhất airport will also work with the Department of Transport to increase public transport serving the airport to downtown area to meet the travel needs of passengers in order to reduce traffic jams at the airport area.
Domestic travel demand has been surging after the pandemic was put under control, causing overcrowding at major airports across the country, especially Tân Sơn Nhất and Nội Bài.
Tân Sơn Nhất is expected to serve the highest number of passengers in four years during the peak of the holiday.
This year, people will have a seven-day holiday from January 20-26.
The airport is expected to service more than 3.8 million passengers with nearly 27,000 flights during the holiday, up 10 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
More than 820 flights with 130,000 passengers are expected to depart from and arrive at the airport per day.
In a related move, construction of the much-anticipated Tân Sơn Nhất third passenger terminal, which started last month, is expected to ease the worsening overcrowding at the airport.
The airport currently has two terminals, with the first terminal serving domestic flights and the second terminal handling international flights. The first terminal can serve up to 15 million passengers a year and the second terminal 10 million.
The airport was designed to handle 25 million passengers a year by 2020, but it has been receiving almost 40 million a year since 2017.
Once completed, the third terminal is expected to handle domestic flights and up to 20 million passengers annually. — VNS