Delayed runway repairs at Vietnam's two largest airports proposed for June

By Anh Duy   April 24, 2020 | 03:00 am PT
Delayed runway repairs at Vietnam's two largest airports proposed for June
A subsided section of a taxiway at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, August 2019. Photo courtesy of the airport.
The Ministry of Transport has proposed runway maintenance at the airports of Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai to commence in June with state-funding.

It further proposed taking charge of repairs and upgrades of overloaded runways at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, at a total estimated cost of VND4.3 trillion ($182.7 million).

As a potential "urgent public investment project," the ministry would be authorized to appoint contractors so work could start soon, as the number of flights at both airports remain low amid travel restrictions.

If the government decides on a normal bidding process, work would commence in December. But, after the Covid-19 pandemic is contained and travel demand resumes, maintenance would be a challenge, the ministry noted.

In an earlier plan, it estimated the project to span two years.

Inspections since 2017 revealed runways and taxiways at both airports show cracks, factures, subsidence and crumbling expansion joint material between concrete slabs as a result of overload.

Although renovation plans have been repeatedly discussed, no work has been carried out as the state failed to allocate funding.

Tan Son Nhat, the largest airport in Vietnam, received over 40 million passengers in 2019, 1.6 times higher than its intended capacity of 25 million per year, while Noi Bai handled 29 million compared to a design capacity of 21 million, official data showed.

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