Vietnam mulls central airport upgrade to international status

By Doan Loan   May 20, 2020 | 08:55 pm PT
Vietnam mulls central airport upgrade to international status
Passengers leave an aircraft at Tho Xuan Airport in Thanh Hoa Province. Photo by Shutterstock/Thor Jorgen Udvang.
Aviation authorities are considering upgrading Tho Xuan Airport in the central province of Thanh Hoa into an international airport.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has made a proposal to the Ministry of Transport to make it a 4E airport as categorized by the International Civil Aviation Organization, meaning it could receive wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing B787-9 and Airbus A350-900.

Its capacity will be increased from 1.2 million passengers a year to five million by 2030, and 20 million by 2050. No other details are available yet.

The airport served over a million passengers last year, exceeding all forecasts, and the numbers have been rising steadily.

An earlier plan to upgrade its capacity to 2.5 million passengers by 2030 while still remaining a domestic airport, approved five years ago, is no longer suitable, the CAAV said.

Thanh Hoa, the third most populated locality in the country behind Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, reported economic growth of 17 percent last year against the country’s 7 percent.

The government wants to make it an industrial province focused on oil refining and petrochemicals, garment, footwear, cement, agriculture, and fisheries.

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