Vietnam airports operator to stop charging for drop-off, pickup cars

By Doan Loan   April 29, 2019 | 04:00 am PT
Vietnam airports operator to stop charging for drop-off, pickup cars
Overhead bridge leading up to Terminal 2 of Tan San Nhat Airport. Photo by TSN.
Cars entering airports for a short time to pick up or drop off passengers will not be charged a fee from next year. 

Vu The Phiet, general director of the joint stock Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the country’s monopoly airports operator, said the number of minutes allowed for cars to enter free would depend on the airport and be decided by the government.

The ACV plans to upgrade its car monitoring systems at all of its 21 airports by 2019, and introduce the new model by 2020 at the latest. 

Phiet said his company is proposing a plan to collect toll on roads it maintains immediately around airports.

But Nguyen Thien Tong, a former head of the aviation engineering faculty at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, said the ACV’s practice of charging all cars entering its airports is unlawful and should be stopped immediately. 

He pointed to the conclusions of the Government Inspectorate at the end of 2017 which said the ACV’s fee collection practices were not in accordance with the Law on Land and therefore unlawful. 

It found the ACV’s airports had collected over VND550 billion ($23.7 million) in such unlawful fees, he said. This amount should be appropriated by the government, he said. 

"Passengers are already paying airport fees if they fly, so they should not pay more for simply driving to the airport. Roads leading up to the terminals are transport infrastructure, not an aviation service." 

Besides, getting rid of the tollbooths would prevent congestion during peak times, he pointed out. 

Traffic expert Nguyen Van Thanh said while the ACV has indeed invested in these roads, it does not have to pay land-use fees. Thus, enterprises need to determine how long it will take to return the investment, then return these roads to the state once they have recuperated their investment capital. 

"The ACV should be encouraged to find its own financial resources, which means no fee collection from cars."

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