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Safety, pollution concerns halt terminal construction at central Vietnam airport

By Hoang Phong    July 22, 2020 | 02:45 am PT
Safety, pollution concerns halt terminal construction at central Vietnam airport
Construction vehicles stay idle at Phu Bai Airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province as work has been suspended for causing dust pollution, July 2020. Photo by Thua Thien Hue online newspaper.
Aviation authorities have ordered the suspension of the second terminal construction at Phu Bai International Airport over dust pollution.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) ordered the suspension on Tuesday after the construction unit failed to ensure safety and air quality, said Do Chi Thanh, director of Phu Bai International Airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, home to Vietnam's former imperial capital and tourist hotspot Hue.

The move came after several reports from local residents and air passengers, complaining the construction produced a big amount of dust that caused pollution and reduced aircraft visibility, threatening aviation safety.

Thanh said the airport management board has asked the construction unit to take immediate action to prevent the spread of dust into the air.

Resumption of construction is only allowed after the investor and construction unit propose feasible measures to address the problem, CAAV said.

Dust fills the air at Phu Bai Airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province due to a terminal construction, July 2020. Photo by Tai Nguyen and Moi Truong Newspaper.

Dust fills the air at Phu Bai Airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province due to a terminal construction, July 2020. Photo by Tai Nguyen and Moi Truong newspaper.

Construction on the terminal, funded by state-run Airports Corporation of Vietnam, started last December and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The second terminal is built on an area of 22,380-square-meters to serve five million passengers per year, including a million foreigners by 2021, and nine million travelers by 2030. When it enters operation, the existing terminal would handle cargo only.

Phu Bai Airport, 15 km from Hue, is currently capable of serving up to 1.5 million passengers per year, but is often overloaded with about two million.

The airport was built by the French in 1940 to serve both military and civilian purposes. In 2013, VND700 billion ($30 million) was spent on repairing and upgrading it.

 
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