Tân Sơn Nhất international airport in HCM City. Photo courtesy of the Airport Corporation of Việt Nam
HCM CITY — The Minister of Transport has urged contractors to complete the upgrade of four taxiways and one of HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất international airport’s two runways by the year-end to meet heightened travel demand for the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Speaking at a recent meeting with contractors, transport minister Nguyễn Văn Thể said: “The project needs speeding up to ensure that it be ready by early 2021.”
In June the ministry assigned the Cửu Long Corporation for Investment Development and Project Management of Infrastructure (CIPM) to implement the project, along with the consortium of ACC Airport Construction Company Ltd., CIENC04 Joint Stock Company, and Civil Engineering Construction Joint Stock Company 647.
According to CIPM, the runway upgrade project, which includes 13 bidding packages, has completed 41 per cent of its work.
The runway is expected to be completed in November and will be tested for 45 days before opening in early 2021, as planned, according to CIPM.
CIPM has requested that the Government approve undisbursed capital of VNĐ320 billion (US$13.8 million) for project implementation this year.
Thể said he would seek capital disbursement approval from the Government, and assured that “there would be no shortage of capital”.
Thể ordered the contractors to ensure that technology used in the new signal lighting systems at the upgraded runway is consistent with the other runway to ensure flight safety.
“Because the number of flights has dropped significantly due to the pandemic, an early finish for the project could be done,” he said.
The transport chief also ordered the Southern Airports Authority to continue enhancing oversight of the renovation by ensuring security, safety, environmental sanitation, and fire prevention and safety.
The upgrade work began on the runway and four taxiways on June 30.
Tân Sơn Nhất airport has two parallel runways, 3.8km long and 45m wide each, designed to handle wide-bodied aircraft used for long-haul flights. During the upgrade, aircraft will take off and land on the other runway.
The upgrade project costs more than VNĐ2 trillion ($86.25 million) and is divided into two phases. The first phase upgrades one runway and four taxiways (over six months).
The second phase will include construction of other works for flight management, signal lights, reflective paint on runways and taxiways, and new drainage systems and ancillary works (over 14 months).
In a related issue, work to upgrade runway and taxiways also began in June at Hà Nội’s Nội Bài international airport, according to the ministry.
The ministry has assigned the Việt Nam Aviation Administration, Việt Nam Airport Corporation, and Việt Nam Flight Management Corporation to work closely with the contractors and the ministry to ensure safety and security during construction as well as the quality and progress of the project.
Since 2017 runways and taxiways at both Tân Sơn Nhất and Nội Bài airports have shown cracks, subsidence and several broken concrete slabs due to overloading, the ministry said.
Flight operations would likely be disrupted if the current deterioration of the runway surface was not repaired or upgraded in time, it said.
The existing runway and taxiway systems of the two airports would not meet demand by 2025, when 44 million passengers are expected per year at Nội Bài airport and 50 million at Tân Sơn Nhất airport.
Last year, the two airports served 70.5 million passengers, accounting for 60.5 per cent of the country’s total passenger volume. — VNS