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Airport expansion suspended to avoid delays

Update: April, 01/2015 - 08:37
A Viet Nam Airlines plane at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City. Expansion of the airport's parking areas has been delayed to avoid disruptions the April holiday period. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan

HCM CITY (VNS) — The expansion of plane parking areas at Tan Son Nhat airport in HCM City has been delayed so as not to disrupt passengers during the approaching end-of-April holiday period.

The expansion was originally scheduled for April 10 to June 25.

The change was made by the Civial Aviation Authority yesterday following public response about the holiday dates.

The restructuring will cut the number of take-offs and landings to about 25 an hour, five fewer than normal. This would lead to 10,000 less passengers.

The airport will lose about VND12 billion (US$600,000) in airport fees during the expansion, while airlines would lose about VND1.5 trillion ($70 million) in passenger fees.

"Our flights have been sold for several months, and everything is already fixed. How can we deal with this unexpected situation?" an airline representative was quoted as saying in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

"April to June is a peak time for everyone to travel. Why did Tan Son Nhat airport choose to build at this time," he said.

Meanwhile, Jetstar Pacific has increased its aircraft fleet from five to 10 and VietJet Air from 15 to 23.

However, Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Viet Nam Civil Aviation Authority, said he was trying to re-arrange flights.

"However, the time for construction has not been fixed yet. It might be delayed until August or even next year if the CAA cannot get an agreement," Thanh said.

Construction will cover 7.6 hectares and provide 21 more plane parking areas.

Vo Huy Cuong, CAA deputy head, said the new construction would cut the time for planes to move to the runway by 50 per cent, helping airlines increase profits. — VNS

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