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Airports in HCM City, Da Nang eyed for expansion

Update: October, 12/2015 - 08:31
With the development potential of Da Nang and the central region, the Da Nang International Airport will need to be expanded. — Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV) has announced changes to the master plan for HCM City-based Tan Son Nhat airport.

The airport will receive numerous upgrades and expansions to be able to service up to 25 million passengers a year and 1 million tonnes of cargo. The airport will also be able to accommodate up to 82 aircrafts of various kinds.

In addition, eight more hectares of land will be added to the airport area, according to the master plan. The upgrade, however, may not be able to address the fundamental problem the airport is facing: being overloaded.

In 2014, Tan Son Nhat International Airport welcomed over 22 million passengers and received 408,000 tonnes of cargo, an annual increase of 10.5 and 9.4 per cent respectively.

"During the first eight months of 2015, the airport served more than 17.5 million passengers. It is likely that it will receive 25 million passengers this year. The upgrade is meant to relieve some of the pressure, not to fix the core issue," said Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the biggest in the national airport system, and is a centre for passenger and cargo transit in the southern region.

The Tan Son Nhat master plan was initially approved by the Primer Minister on February 27, 1995. Since that time, it has received a great deal of investment for infrastructure activities.

However, due to increased demand and its importance as the largest airport until 2020, the Prime Minister has appointed the Ministry of Transport to approve adjustments of the detailed master plan.

The minister of Transport signed a decision on September 7, approving adjustments to the plan, with agreement from related ministries, authorities and HCM City's People's Committee.

Da Nang airport

The Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam said the Da Nang International airport, the biggest in the central region, is to play an important role in the country's airport system.

It is a hub for passenger and cargo transit in the central region and a gateway for international passengers to the region.

In 2014, the airport received 5 million passengers, reaching a growth of 15.6 percent.

During the first eight months of this year, the airport received 4.5 million passengers and 10,380 tonnes of cargo, an increase of 33 percent in passengers and 0.4 percent in cargo.

After the government approved the overall zoning plan in 2008, the airport's infrastructure received a high level of investment.

However, with the development potential of Da Nang and the central region, the airport will need to be expanded.

Zoning plan near

The provincial authorities of Dong Nai unveiled a zoning plan for areas around the planned Long Thanh International Airport during a meeting with the province's departments and agencies last week.

The zoning plan gives priority to aircraft landing and take-off, and limits the development of residential areas in the areas near the airport, according to the Deputy Chairman of Dong Nai People's Committee Tran Van Vinh during the meeting.

These areas are suitable for agricultural development and services using low facilities, Vinh said.

The province will not grant licences or build more projects in areas bordering the airport, and instead will use land in these areas for future airport expansion plans.

Speaking at the meeting, the chairman of Dong Nai People's Committee, Dinh Quoc Thai, asked the province's Department of Construction to link implementation of this zoning plan with others in Long Thanh District, where the airport will be located.

Thai also asked agencies to pay close attention to site clearance and building of roads and power and water supply lines to the airport construction grounds.

He also told Long Thanh District to put the land in areas around the airport under close management in order to prevent the selling of plots for house foundations and illegal house construction.

The areas around the planned international airport cover about 21,000 hectares.

The provincial authority of Dong Nai has signed a contract with a consulting company to divide the areas into zones for agricultural, service and urban development, and residential areas in conformity with the new zoning plan for nearby areas.

The airport, to be built in three phases, is expected to be fully operational by 2035, with an annual capacity of 100 million passengers.

Construction is scheduled to begin this year and by 2020 it will be capable of handling 25 million passengers a year.

Total investment capital for the project is estimated at over $16 billion. Of this, $5.45 billion will be spent in the first phase.

Covering more than 5,000ha, Long Thanh is expected to become a competitive international airport and a key entry point to Southeast Asia. — VNS

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