Illustrative Image (Source: VNA)
Ho Chi Minh City (VNA) – HCM City authorities have been seeking solutions to easing the increasing passenger volumes at the terminals of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which is estimated to serve 31 million passengers in 2016, well exceeding its designed capacity of 25 million passengers.

According to Lai Xuan Thanh, Head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), Tan Son Nhat airport served 26.4 million passengers in 2015 and with an average growth of 15 percent annually, HCM City’s only airport will have to serve from 50 to 65 million passengers by 2025.

The urgent and immediate task is to continue increasing the capacity of the airport, Thanh said.

Besides the overload of the terminals, the airport also lacks aircraft stands with only 51 existing stands out of the 81 planned.

So far this year, many flights had to circle the sky from 15 to 60 minutes before being able to make their landing, especially during peak hours (16h-19h), affecting the serving quality, wasting fuel, polluting the air and reducing airlines’ effectiveness.

Roads outside the airport often face congestion due to the growing population in areas surrounding the airport.

According to Dang Tuan Tu, Director of the airport, up to 50 percent of cars and 90 percent of motorbikes that use Truong Son street, the main street leading to the airport, are just going from east to west without actually entering the airport.

According to a representative of the CAAV, a new double-use terminal will be built on the land managed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to help raise the capacity of Tan Son Nhat airport to 40 million passengers per year.

The CAAV and the MoD have agreed to expand and use the parking space for military planes in the western side of the airport for civilian planes.

The city plans to build flyovers to ease congestion on roads outside the airport.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung asked the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to instruct its relevant units to ensure the safety of flights and the traffic flow outside the airport.

The Deputy PM asked the MoT and the MoD to re-plan flight paths in Binh Duong, Dong Nai and HCM City to avoid air congestion and to soon seek capital to increase Tan Son Nhat airport’s capacity by 10 million passengers.-VNA