Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 22 attended the reopening ceremony of Phu Bai Airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue after a 6-month closure for repairs.

Speaking at the ceremony, Phuc said Hue is a tourism hotspot thus a modern airport plays a crucial role in transportation service for visitors to the city.

He reminded local authorities and Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) to make full use of the newly-repaired airport to serve the socio-economic development of the province as it is also a centre of health and education services.

During the closure, the airport's runway was expanded in width from 40m to 45m and resurfaced to accommodate the landing of medium-size aircraft such as the A321.

Its terminal was expanded to 6,500 sq.m to increase capacity and service to 1.5 million passengers a year. During a peak hour, the upgraded terminal can serve 800 passengers and three A321 planes at the same time.

A new car park and taxi lounge with 160 parking spaces has also been built.

The airport upgrades were completed at a total cost of 700 billion VND (35 million USD) from ACV's budget.

On September 20, the airport accommodated flights by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and low-cost carrier VietJetAir from Hanoi and HCM City to Hue .

Phuc told local authorities to diversify tourism services to attract more visitors to Hue for full exploitation of the airport.

The same day, the Deputy PM cut the ribbon for the completion of the upgrade of Hue bypass. The work began in July last year to overhaul the degrading bypass which presented traffic safety problems.

The 36km wide bypass upgrade cost the Ministry of Transport 482 billion VND (24 million USD) to complete. The bypass was put into use in 2004 to reduce dependence on the national highway for traveling to Hue city and to shorten the distance through the locality.-VNA