Saigon's overloaded airport to get $88 million stop-gap upgrade

By VnExpress   June 20, 2017 | 11:34 am GMT+7
Saigon's overloaded airport to get $88 million stop-gap upgrade
Families and friends wait outside the international terminal of Tan Son Nhat airport in a file photo taken in January 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Tan Son Nhat's aircraft parking area and its international terminal will be expanded this year.

The Airports Corporation of Vietnam has announced a fund worth VND2 trillion ($88 million) for the expansion of Tan Son Nhat, the country's biggest airport, this year.

The airport manager said the currently strained airport will have its aircraft parking area and international terminal expanded. It appears to be a temporary fix, though a costly one, as the company has also said it will conduct a study to further upgrade the airport.

Tan Son Nhat has been overloaded in recent year. Originally designed to handle 25 million passengers per year, but its facilities served 32.5 million last year, up 22.4 percent from 2015.

The government is also working on a plan to add an extra runway and two new terminals, an ambitious project that will require a lot of time, money and land.

The Airports Corporation, the manager of 22 airports around the country, will also spend more than VND4 trillion to upgrade five other airports, apart from Tan Son Nhat. Notably, the one on the tourist island of Phu Quoc will also be expanded.

This year, the company, also known as ACV, targets some 91 million passengers, and 1.182 million tons of cargo. That would be an increase of 13 percent and 5 percent respectively.

Earlier in March, the Vietnamese government allowed Aeroports de Paris, the French airports manager, to acquire a 20 percent stake in ACV, according to media reports.

The deal is already done and will be finalized in the coming months, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing an official source.