Tan Son Nhat airport upgrade speeds up

By Quynh Tran   May 13, 2021 | 03:00 am PT
Work has commenced 24/7 to upgrade eight taxiways at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport, set for completion by year end.

The second phase of a project to upgrade and build taxiways at Tan Son Nhat airport has been 35 percent complete after two months. This phase also includes construction of a drainage system, taxiway lighting, and aviation signboards.
600 workers have been deployed for this phase.


A crane dumps soil onto a truck to make room for taxiway foundations.


Sixty types of machinery are employed in three different shifts to ensure work is carried out around the clock.


Dozens of workers construct a drainage system that runs four meters underground.


Due to Covid-19 impacts, the number of flights to and from HCMC has been reduced, creating space for construction to proceed.


Part of a new taxiway, which is near completion.


An X sign serves as a guide for pilots, as regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization.


A crane places steel frames in fixed positions before concrete is poured over to create a new taxiway. Each taxiway has two layers of concrete that measure 78 centimeters in total.


Le Van Hung welds a steel frame. He said pouring concrete requires outdoor temperatures below 35 degrees Celsius, and is therefore done at night.
"Construction at the airport is commencing to a high technological standard, meaning everyone has to pay careful attention to their specific tasks," he added.


Once ready, the concrete will be covered with sacks and watered to cool and retain its quality. "The sack covers shield the concrete from the sunlight. It will be removed after about 10 days," a worker named Tam said she sprayed water.


A worker named Doanh uses a cutter to create gaps so the concrete could expand under the heat. "This is one of the most important traffic projects in the country, therefore I have to try my best to do my job so that the airport could soon escape overload," he said.


A plane is about to land on runway 25R/07L, part of the first phase of the upgrade project, which has a total investment of more than VND2 trillion (over $86 million) and is expected to complete by the end of this year.
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. 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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