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New taxiway, runway upgrades proposed for Vietnam’s largest airport Tan Son Nhat

Aircraft land in HCMC's Tan Son Nhat Airport. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

HANOI, Aug 23, 2019, VN Express. The corporation (ACV) told the Ministry of Transport on Thursday that it wants to build a new E8 taxiway that would run parallel to the existing E6 taxiway in the airport’s international terminal so that planes could get into runways and parking spaces faster, reported the VN Express.

Building a new taxiway would cost about VND1.558 trillion ($67.2 million), while upgrading old runways would cost about VND680 billion, it said.

However, the ACV would not be able to use its business capital for its plan as the flight area is managed by the government, said ACV deputy director Do Tat Binh.

Since the government cannot afford such investments at the moment, the Ministry of Transport should devise ways to let ACV invest in the upgrade and refund the money later, Binh suggested.

“The investment to upgrade the flight area is crucial for reducing congestion… We need to do it before construction of the T3 Terminal begins,” he added.

The Ministry of Transport has suggested that the government seeks funding from private sources to invest in the flight area, instead of using the national budget.

A transport ministry official, who did not want to be named, said that the project to upgrade the flight area would be carried out in a manner that synchronizes with construction of the T3 Terminal.

Recently, the ACV increased the number of parking spaces for planes at the Tan Son Nhat airport to 105, partially helping to alleviate congestion.

But as Tan Son Nhat’s taxiway system only allows a single flow of planes to move from their parking spaces to the runways for takeoff, the whole process is slowed down, and congestion recurs, the corporation noted. Current taxiways are also not optimized to handle new planes which are bigger and heavier, it added.

HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport, the largest one in Vietnam, received 38.5 million people last year, which was 1.5 times higher than its intended capacity of 25 million people per year, several reports have said.

There have also been reports that the airport has long suffered from congestion due to the limited capacity of its runway and parking systems, prompting personnel to employ delay tactics to keep planes in the air for longer before landing, making time for space to be made available on the ground.

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