Tan Son Nhat airport upgrade resumes after Covid break

By Gia Minh   August 25, 2021 | 07:56 pm PT
Tan Son Nhat airport upgrade resumes after Covid break
Workers at the construction site to upgrade taxiways at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, HCMC, May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
Suspended for 20 days after many workers contracted Covid-19, the upgrade of HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat airport resumed Wednesday.

For now, more than 400 workers and engineers are working to finish the second phase to upgrade Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which has been set for completion by year-end.

They are working in shifts and are arranged to stay back at the construction site to avoid any possible threats of contracting the new coronavirus, said Tran Binh An, operations head of Project No. 1 under Cuu Long Corporation, which manages maintenance projects for the Ministry of Transport.

"The entire project is now more than 60 percent complete and progress is being boosted, with many working overnights to meet the target of completion by year-end," said An.

The second phase of the airport upgrade includes work on five existing taxiways and new rapid exit taxiways, connecting taxiways and parallel taxiways besides a drainage system, set up taxiway lights, and aviation signboards.

Work was put on hold on Aug. 5 after several people on the site tested positive for Covid.

Mass tests later found 27 people at the site having contracted Covid-19, with 76 others identified to have had direct contact with those patients.

Since Aug. 13, no new cases have been detected among people working at the site and therefore, HCMC’s administration had allowed work to resume.

The entire project to upgrade Tan Son Nhat will cost a total VND2 trillion (over $86 million).

The first phase to upgrade runway 25R/07L, three kilometers long and 46 meters wide, was completed late last year after it was started in July. During that period, the entire runway was closed.

Tan Son Nhat, the country's largest airport, has been overloaded for many years and the resultant damage has been evident in visible cracks and deformation and subsidence of the asphalt surface on its runways and taxiways, which have been reported since 2016.

The airport has been serving 36 million passengers a year since 2017, well above its designed capacity, which was 25 million passengers per year by 2020.

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