Tan Son Nhat Airport upgrade to go ahead - Tan Son Nhat Airport upgrade to go ahead - Website Ho Chi Minh City
Maintenance work at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City will start on April 10 as scheduled, and end before June 30, despite concerns that maintenance work will affect holiday-season passengers.
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang agreed to the schedule at a meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority on April 2.
The maintenance work will take place in the national holiday period from April 28 to May 3 which covers the Hung Kings celebrations, Reunification Day and International Labour Day.
Chairman of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, Nguyen Nguyen Hung, said the maintenance would have little impact on passengers.
Hung said repair work would upgrade both the taxiway and apron at the country's largest airport.
However, Chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam Lai Xuan Thanh, believes flights would be affected, and said there must be co-ordination among airlines to minimise the effects of the maintenance work, which required the closure of a taxi-way.
At a press conference on April 3, Thanh said Tan Son Nhat airport was in urgent need of an upgrade as Vietnamese carriers were expected to add another 50 planes this year.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said there would be adjustments on the number of flights during peak hours.
Both officials agreed that the upgrade must be done during the dry season, adding that after the initial maintenance work, a complete overhaul of the airport would have to be made. This could take several months, he said.
Currently, about 30 flights depart from or land at Tan Son Nhat airport every hour. This number could fall to 25 per hour.
Minister Thang told the ACV to ensure that the minimum number of affected flights are affected.