Vietnam aviation authority seeks to expand capacity of key airports

By Tri Duc
Mon, September 5, 2022 | 3:23 pm GTM+7

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed that the Cat Bi, Van Don, Danang and Chu Lai airports be allowed to expand their capacities by 2030 and 2050.

These airports serve key localities in the north and central regions. The expansions are part of a report submitted to the Ministry of Transport on a 2021-2030 plan for the country’s airports with vision until 2050.

The CAAV proposes that the Cat Bi Airport in the northern port city of Haiphong raises its capacity to 13 million passengers by 2030 from the current eight million.

For the Van Don Airport in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, which now serves 2.5 million passengers annually, the proposed expansion will serve 12 million passengers by 2030 and 20 million by 2050.

The Danang airport in the central eponymous city has a current capacity of 10 million passengers a year. The proposal says it should be able to serve 25 million passengers by 2030 and 30 million by 2050.

A doubling of the capacity from the current five million to serve 10 million passengers by 2030 is envisaged for the Chu Lai airport in the central province of Quang Nam. This would further expand to 30 million passengers by 2050.

Hai Phong is a manufacturing and logistics hub in northern Vietnam, while the island district of Van Don in Quang Ninh province is home to the Van Don Economic Zone and is very near the UNESCO heritage site of Ha Long Bay.

Danang is the business and tourism hub of central Vietnam, while Chu Lai airport is located in the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Nam province, an emerging manufacturing hub, also in the central region.

Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo courtersy of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo courtersy of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

Vietnam currently operates 22 civil airports, including 10 international and 12 domestic ones, which have already exceeded their designed capacity of 95 million passengers.

As per the draft plan, Vietnam will operate 28 civil airports with a capacity of 283 million in 2021-2030. In 2050, the country will have 31 airports.

For the 2021-2030 period, the CAAV has also proposed that authorities transform the Thanh Son and Bien Hoa airbases, which are located in Ninh Thuan province and Dong Nai province respectively, into military-civil airports. The government has already asked relevant agencies to study this prospect and report to it by September.

The CAAV has also recommended construction of new airports. These include two on the Ly Son and Phu Quy islands for socioeconomic and defense purposes; the Haiphong airport in Tien Lang district of Haiphong city; and a second airport for Hanoi, in addition to Noi Bai.

In the first eight months of this year, airports in Vietnam served 66 million passengers - 61 million domestic and five million international, the CAAV said in its latest report. A total of 178,010 flights were operated, of which 39,894 were delayed.

The number of domestic and international figures increased 19.9% and decreased 81.5%, respectively, over the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

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