Vietnam’s airports fit to burst with 25 percent increase in passenger numbers

By Bui Hong Nhung   May 18, 2016 | 02:08 am PT
Vietnam’s airports fit to burst with 25 percent increase in passenger numbers
Vietnam’s aviation sector saw passenger numbers grow by 25 percent on-year in the first four months of 2016, putting pressure on airport infrastructure, said Lai Xuan Thanh, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

Thanh said: “Vietnam’s airports are designed to serve a total of approximately 75 million passengers per year. However, the figure reached 63 million in the first four months of 2016, causing problems for our aviation infrastructure.”

The director added that the problem is mainly at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, the country's largest international airport, which is being forced to operate at twice its designed capacity.

“The Ministry of Transport has a plan to expand Tan Son Nhat by increasing the capacity to up to 40 million passengers each year. This figure, however, is still modest compared to the current growth rate.”

Vu Pham Nguyen An from the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) also agreed with Thanh, adding that ACV has invested billions of dong in airport infrastructure but it is still difficult for 21 airports to serve the growing number of passengers.

An said that ACV is facing a problem related to investment capital as only three international airports out of 21 are making a profit while the company still needs to ensure operations at all of them.

Luong The Phuc from Vietjet Air, Vietnam’s only privately-owned airline, said that Vietnam should allow private carriers to invest in airport infrastructure, while Duong Chi Thanh from Vietnam Airlines said the Civil Aviation Authority should maintain the current distribution of airplane parking lots to ensure fair competition among domestic carriers. 

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