Upgraded Tan Son Nhat airport runway to begin trial run

By Giang Anh   December 12, 2020 | 12:30 am PT
Upgraded Tan Son Nhat airport runway to begin trial run
An aircraft flies above a runway under construction at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport, August 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
A six-day trial run of a repaired and upgraded runway at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport is expected to begin December 15.

Tran Binh An, operations head of Project No.1 under the Cuu Long Corporation, which manages maintenance projects for the Ministry of Transport, said the first phase of the runway upgrade project is 90 percent complete after nearly six months of work.

Repairs on the 25R/07L runway, three kilometers long and 46 meters wide, has finished and work is ongoing on the construction of four taxiways and other auxiliary works, he said.

The runway will undergo a six-day (December 15-20) trial run before officially opening to traffic on December 31, he added.

The contractor is currently using about 100 types of machines and more than 500 engineers and workers divided into three shifts to work day and night, An said.

"The corporation is coordinating with related units to establish a security team to manage and monitor the work to ensure absolute safety for flight operations during and after the trial run," he added.

The ongoing work includes installation of equipment systems, warning signs and painting the runway.

The runway renovation project had begun late June this year, around the same time as a similar one at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

The upgrade project at Tan Son Nhat, the country’s largest airport, has a total investment of more than VND2 trillion (over $86 million), including new rapid exit taxiways, parallel taxiways, improved signal lights, drainage systems and other works on runway 25R/07L. The work will happen in two phases, with the first and second spanning six and 14 months.

Ever since work began on the 25R/07L runway, aircraft have been using the airport’s other runway, 25L/07R.

In the second phase, the project will upgrade five existing taxiways and build new rapid exit taxiways, connecting taxiways and parallel taxiways besides a drainage system, taxiway lights and aviation signboards. It is expected that the entire project will be completed by the end of 2021.

Vietnam’s airports have been overloaded for many years and the resultant damage has been evident in visible cracks and deformation and subsidence of the asphalt surface, which have been reported since 2016.

The country’s 22 civilian airports served nearly 116 million passengers last year, up 12 percent year-on-year.

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