Vietnam’s aviation authorities demand early completion of Tan Son Nhat runway repair

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Vietnam’s aviation authorities demand early completion of Tan Son Nhat runway repair

This image shows a plane operating at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre

The repair of a runway at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City should be completed five days before its deadline to meet the rising travel demand during the coming national holidays, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has requested.

The CAAV on Friday asked the My Thuan Project Management Unit to speed up the project for renovation and upgrade of runway 25L/07R, along with taxiways and other items at the airport, so that it can re-operate on April 25, instead of April 30 as previous planned.

The project acceleration is required as air travel demand is expected to grow during the coming holidays, including the Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labor Day (May 1), the CAAV explained.

The runway, three kilometers long and 46 meters wide, has been suspended since February 21 for repair and upgrade, and the CAAV has since reduced the flight frequency at the airport to 30 per hour compared to 48 previously.

The project, started in July 2020, has a total investment of over VND2 trillion ($87.5 million) from the State budget.

After years of overloaded operation, Tan Son Nhat, the largest airport in Vietnam, has detected visible cracks, deformation and subsidence of the asphalt surface on its two runways and taxiways since 2017.

The annual throughput of passengers at the airport has exceeded 36 million since 2017, well above its designed capacity of 25 million travelers per year.

Last month, the CAAV sent a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to all air carriers and operators worldwide announcing Vietnam’s removal of all restrictions on international air passenger transport as from February 15.

That means Vietnamese and foreign airlines have since been allowed to operate regular passenger flights to and from Vietnam under the bilateral and multilateral aviation agreements between Vietnam and other countries and territories.

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