Transport ministry wants to reacquire national airports operator

By Hung Le   September 3, 2019 | 12:30 pm GMT+7
Transport ministry wants to reacquire national airports operator
Airplanes are seen at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/Bayurov Alexander.
The Ministry of Transport has sought approval to buy back all non-state shareholdings in the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

Making ACV a wholly state-owned entity would ensure the highest standards of national security for aviation, the ministry said in a proposal it sent to the government.

The government owns a 95.4 percent stake in the airports operator, with foreign investors holding a 3.61 percent stake and other domestic shareholders, 0.99 percent. ACV, which runs 21 airports in the country, has been in charge of building runways, parking bays and terminals for the biggest airports in Vietnam.

In the proposal, the ministry also wants all public aviation infrastructure transferred to ACV until 2025, after which it would review and return them to the government.

This would allow ACV to invest in upgrades or maintenance of aviation infrastructure, which it normally could not do because these assets are being managed by the state.

After it was equitized in 2016 the corporation’s airport infrastructure assets were transferred to the government, which now allocates funds for their maintenance.

But the ministry said it has been unable to allocate medium-term funding for the 2016-20 period, making it very difficult for ACV to upgrade and maintain the assets.

It complained that runways at major airports like Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai in Hanoi have exceeded their design capacity and suffered damages that could potentially threaten flight safety, and said they need to be upgraded.

Vietnamese airports served 103.5 million passengers last year, up 11 percent from 2017, according to ACV.

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