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Vietnam puts $860-million upgrade plan at Saigon airport on the runway

By VnExpress   January 20, 2017 | 07:05 am PT
Vietnam puts $860-million upgrade plan at Saigon airport on the runway
Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam
The plan will allow Tan Son Nhat to handle 45 million passengers annually.

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has agreed with a proposal to invest around $860 million to upgrade the congested Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

In the fifth meeting to discuss the airport upgrade on Friday, Dung asked the Ministry of Transport and other relevant ministries to submit a complete report on the proposal to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for consideration by February 25.

Under the proposal, two more terminals, capable of handling 10 million passengers each per year, will be constructed to the south of the airport. The new terminals, along with other proposed infrastructure projects, would need total investment of VND19.7 trillion ($860.6 million) and would take three years to complete.

When complete, the new Tan Son Nhat would be able to handle 43 million-45 million passengers annually.

According to state-owned consultancy firm Airport Design and Construction Consultancy One Member Limited Liability Company (ADCC), the proposed upgrade project will use land currently owned by the airforce, which will help reduce site clearance costs and time.

Vietnam’s airline market is growing at the third fastest pace in Asia-Pacific, and the country is grappling with an acute dearth of airport capacity.

Tan Son Nhat is the country's main airport and is designed to handle 25 million passengers by 2020. But due to a surge in passengers, it was mobbed by 32 million passengers last year.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, VietJet and the newly founded Vietstar are planning to expand their fleets in the next four years.

The country is working on a design for a massive airport in Dong Nai Province to share some of the heavy load on Tan Son Nhat, but construction could take years.

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