Airports overwhelmed as passenger numbers keep rising hinh anh 1Traffic jam on Truong Son Street leading to HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The 21 airports in Vietnam are overloaded with the number of passengers estimated to increase to over 112 million this year against a capacity of 96.05 million.

Last year they handled 103.5 million passengers.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City suffers from chronic traffic congestion inside and outside despite the efforts of the city's People’s Committee, the Ministry of Transport and other agencies.

Airport authorities have yet to identify the contractor for building the third terminal. The new terminal will be designed to handle 20 million passengers annually, helping to resolve the traffic congestion and develop the airport in accordance with the master plan approved by the Government.

The overload is the reason why no more slots are allotted to foreign or local airlines at the airport.

Overloading is a serious problem also at some of the other international airports such as Cam Ranh airport and Da Nang airport in the central region.

Da Nang Airport, which has a capacity of 10 million passengers per annum, received 13.2 million last year.

Cam Ranh, with a capacity of 6.5 million, handled more than 8.2 million travellers last year.

The numbers of passengers using other airports such as Tho Xuan in Thanh Hoa province, Cat Bi in Hai Phong City, Vinh in Nghe An province, Phu Cat in Bình Dinh province, and Tuy Hoa in Phu Yen province have also reached the designed capacity.

According to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), since 2012 a number of airports have been upgraded taking the total design capacity of its airports from 50.1 million passengers a year to 96.05 million.

Tan Son Nhat airport’s capacity increased from 18 million to 28 million passengers, Noi Bai airport’s from 6 million to 25 million, Da Nang airport’s from 6 million to 10 million, and Cam Ranh airport’s from 2.5 million to 6.5 million.

Aviation experts say to ease the pressure on Tan Son Nhat airport, construction of Terminal 3 is an urgent requirement.

Along with the construction of the terminal, the ACV must also speed up construction of Long Thanh International Airport in southern Dong Nai province.

If the construction of Long Thành airport is delayed and not completed by 2025, the pressure would remain on Tan Son Nhat airport, and the areas around it would still have to suffer from severe traffic congestion, they added.-VNS/VNA