Tan Son Nhat's newly upgraded runway damaged by lightning

By Gia Minh   April 23, 2021 | 08:00 pm PT
Tan Son Nhat's newly upgraded runway damaged by lightning
A plane is about to land at Tan Son Nhat airport via the newly upgraded runway 25R/07L in January 2021. Photo VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Tan Son Nhat airport closed a newly renovated runway for an hour on Friday after it was struck by lightning.

The 25R/07L runway at the airport in HCMC’s Tan Binh District was closed for more than one hour in the afternoon of Friday after a bolt of lightning struck it during a heavy rain.

The damage was detected by a maintenance team at the airport when there was no flight operating on the runway at around 4 p.m. The lightning left two holes, one 25 centimeters wide and five centimeters deep, and the other around 15 centimeters wide and three centimeters deep.

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

Another ongoing project will upgrade five existing taxiways and build new rapid exit taxiways, connecting taxiways and parallel taxiways besides a drainage system, set up taxiway lights, and aviation signboards.

The upgrade project 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, 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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