Côn Đảo Airport in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Transport
BÀ RỊA-VŨNG TÀU — Côn Đảo Island’s airport in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu is expected to be expanded to receive larger aircraft and increase its capacity to two million passengers a year.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) has submitted to the Ministry of Transport a planning adjustment for Côn Đảo Airport by 2030 for approval.
The initial planning for the airport’s upgrade and expansion was approved by the Minister of Transport in 2006.
The Côn Đảo Airport located in the province’s Côn Đảo Island District was built during the French colonial period. The airport was upgraded in 2003 and put into operation a year later, serving both civil and military flights.
In the 2010-16 period, it achieved an average growth of 22.7 per cent annually.
Demand for flights to Côn Đảo Island has increased sharply. In recent years, the growth rate of passengers through the airport has exceeded forecasts.
By 2025, the airport is expected to welcome 500,000 passengers a year. However, the number of passengers reached 447,750 last year, a year-on-year increase of 4.1 per cent despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The upgrade of the airport will allow it to receive aircraft like the Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 and freight output of 4,400 tonnes a year.
The total investment for the upgrade and expansion is estimated at more than VNĐ5.4 trillion (US$234.7 million), including VNĐ76.4 billion ($3.3 million) for site clearance.
CAAV plans to expand and upgrade the existing runway that currently can only handle ATR72 and smaller aircraft.
A new aircraft apron will have enough space for at least eight Airbus A320s.
CAAV has also proposed building a new passenger terminal, a 4,315sq.m cargo terminal, and a parking lot to meet increasing passenger demand and cargo volume.
A new air traffic control tower will be built to ensure flight operations.
It will install an airport beacon system, Autonomous Runway Incursion Warning System (ARIWS), Multilateration (MLAT) system, weather radar system, runway monitoring system, and bird detection system.
About 230km from HCM City, Côn Đảo Island is the home to Côn Đảo prison where French and American invaders jailed and tortured many Vietnamese revolutionaries during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The island has great potential for ecological and spiritual tourism with tangible and intangible national Cultural Heritage sites and traditional arts.
It was included in the list of the New York Times' "52 places to Love in 2021" article in January, and praised as one of 12 paradise islands in Asia by CNN in 2017. — VNS