HCM City airport opens more check-in counters, security scanners as congestion worsens

April 20, 2021 - 18:21
The Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City is adding more staff, opening early check-in counters, and using all available security scanners to reduce increasing congestion at the site. 


Thousands of passengers wait for the security check at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City. Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn

HCM CITY --- The Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City is adding more staff, opening early check-in counters, and using all available security scanners to reduce increasing congestion at the site. 

Prolonged congestion at security screening areas in Tân Sơn Nhất Airport has caused delays in flights and frustration among many passengers. Some have missed their flights as they had to queue for hours for security screening.

The Airports Corporation of Việt Nam (ACV) and Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (TIA) on April 19 said that the operating capacity granted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam allows up to 1,728 persons per hour at the security gate at Hall A and up to 1,584 persons per hour at Hall B.

However, at peak hours between April 14 and April 19 Hall A had 2,100 to 2,400 passengers per hour, which exceeded the design capacity by 25 to 30 per cent.

Many flights using large planes and departing at the same hour between 5:30am and 9:30am have also added to the crowded situation. 

In addition, many passengers are taking multiple carry-on bags, prolonging the time needed to scan items.

Adding to the congestion are the further random checks of at least 10 per cent of passengers who have already gone through security screening. 

This is being done under instruction from the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam, which asked for stronger security checks. However, to reduce congestion, TIA has stopped implementing this security check.

As for the centralised take-off and landing in the morning and afternoon causing congestion at the airport, a representative of Vietnam Airlines said the landing turn slots were granted by the Việt Nam Aviation Administration.

In fact, the flights of Vietnam Airlines and Pacific Airlines are spread out through the day and the HCM City - Hà Nội route has a new flight every 30 minutes.

However, due to local travel demand, which is mostly in the morning and during peak hours, congestion has occurred fairly often during these time frames.

Security scanners

To reduce congestion, especially during the upcoming holidays of April 30 and May 1, ACV and TIA decided to open 100 per cent of security scanners and allocated more staff to help customers.

They have also added informative signage to smooth the passenger security scanning process, among other measures.

ACV has told TIA to develop efficient operation plans, including ensuring clearance in security areas between Hall A and Hall B, opening more aircraft doors for domestic flights, and adding more staff to check up on all passengers and ensure that they do not miss their flights. 

Another option being considered by the airport is installation of more security scanners in Hall A.

For a long-term solution, ACV is working with authorities to speed up the handover of land that will be used to build the new passenger terminal T3, with a capacity of 20 million passengers per year.

It will also invest in more modern devices to ease congestion in the area.

Meanwhile, to reduce pressure during rush hours, Vietnam Airlines has encouraged passengers to complete their check-in on its website or at automatic check-in machines prior to their flights.

The airline has also allocated staff with mobile devices at Tân Sơn Nhất in HCM City and Nội Bài airport in Hà Nội to help passengers check in more efficiently. The airline has reserved a separate check-in counter for passengers travelling between HCM City and Hà Nội.

“These solutions have demonstrated Vietnam Airlines’ effort to reduce the load and avoid congestion at large airports such as Hà Nội and HCM City,” a representative said.

He said that passengers who plan to travel on the occasion of April 20 and May 1 should book flights soon and complete booking requirements as much as possible online.

“The filling of medical declarations has also worsened the congestion problem at the airport. This is a mandatory procedure before departure, and passengers should do it at home to save time,” he added.   VNS