The Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport will be expanded in the next five years to avoid becoming overloaded, under a newly amemnded planning announced Firday by the Vietnam’s aviation watchdog.
Tan Son Nhat, the country’s busiest airport, will be enlarged from 590 hectares to 598.11 hectares by 2020, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).
The planning had to be amended as the Ho Chi Minh City terminal is gradually overloaded, CAAV head Lai Xuan Thanh told reporters.
Tan Son Nhat is the largest among 20 airports in Vietnam, which handled 22 million passengers and 406,000 tons of cargo in 2014, according to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat.
“The number of passengers and cargos served by the airport are expected to continue to soar once the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement takes effect,” Nhat said.
The new planning, approved by the transport ministry, stipulates that the current runways and taxiways at the airport will remain intact during the course of expansion.
The area enlargement is intended to increase the number of airport aprons there to 54 by 2020, from the current 40 ones, according to the document.
Fifty-four of the 82 airport aprons then will be used for civil aviation, and the remaining 28 for military purposes.
The CAAV is also slated to announce the amended planning for the Da Nang International Airport, the largest terminal in central Vietnam, on Saturday.
A new airport is also expected to be built in southern Vietnam to ease the pressure on Tan Son Nhat.
On June 25, Vietnam’s law-making National Assembly passed a resolution approving the development of the Long Thanh International Airport, located in the eponymous district of Dong Nai Province, with a vote of 428-17, plus 16 abstentions.
The airport must be able to handle 100 million passengers and five million metric tons of cargo a year by its last phase, according to the resolution.
The total estimate for the three-phase project is VND336.63 trillion, or $16.03 billion. The first phase of construction is expected to consume VND114.45 trillion ($5.45 billion) of the total, and is required to be completed no later than 2025.
In late August Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung assigned Airports Corporation of Vietnam, the operator of all airports in the country, to be the developer of the megaproject.