Long haul flights to shift from Tan Son Nhat to Long Thanh airport

By Doan Loan   August 5, 2019 | 01:05 am PT
Long haul flights to shift from Tan Son Nhat to Long Thanh airport
An artist's impression of the Long Thanh International Airport's departure area. Photo courtesy of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.
When operational, the Long Thanh International Airport will receive planes flying 1,000 kilometers and more.

The move is planned to reduce the burden on the heavily overloaded Tan Son Nhat International Airport, currently the biggest in the country. 

In the future, the Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City will receive narrow-bodied jets like Airbus A321 and Boeing 737 used for routes under 1,000 kilometers, the Ministry of Transport said in the feasibility report it submitted to the government in late July for the new Long Thanh International Airport.

Long Thanh airport, to be built in the southern province of Dong Nai, will have four stories, with the ground floor for welcoming passengers, first floor for arrivals, transit and baggage claim, second floor for shopping and restaurants and third floor for departures and customs, the report said.

Do Tat Binh, deputy director of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), which partnered with a French-Japanese-Vietnamese consortium to produce the feasibility report, said that the airport will have large spaces for trees and a waterfall. Natural light will be utilized to the maximum, he added.

The report, which is scheduled to be presented to the National Assembly in October, proposes three funding options for the airport: from official development assistance (ODA), appointing ACV as the main investor, or inviting bids from interested investors.

It highly recommends the option, to have state-owned ACV, which runs 22 airports in the country, be the main investor. The corporation has experience building runways, parking bays and terminals for the biggest airports in Vietnam, the report noted.

The Long Thanh International Airport, to be built in three phases over three decades, is set to become Vietnam’s largest airport.

The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2025, when the new airport will be able to handle 25 million passengers a year. The next two phases will run from 2030 to 2035 and from 2040 to 2050.

The three phases are estimated to cost $5.4 billion now, but experts have warned this could double if the project is delayed by five years.

Lying 40 kilometers east of HCMC, the airport is expected to take up the overflow from the largest existing airport in the country, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Once completed, Long Thanh International Airport will have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo.

Tan Son Nhat served 38 million passengers last year, up 6.4 percent from 2017, way above its designed capacity of 25 million passengers.

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

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