French consultant offers different opinion on Tan Son Nhat airport expansion

By An Chi - Mar 07, 2018 | 04:46 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERAmid controversy over the expansion of Tan Son Nhat Airport, the Ministry of Transport announced to decide and submit the chosen plan to the Prime Minister in March 2018.

French consultant offers different opinion on Tan Son Nhat airport expansion
Tan Son Nhat airport (Photo: Thanh Nien)

At the regular government press conference in February 2018, regarding the expansion of Tan Son Nhat Airport, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said that the Ministry had hired an independent foreign consultant.

According to him, the plan of Tan Son Nhat airport has been developed by a Vietnam consultant and submitted to the Government. This plan also included Long Thanh airport in vision for the expansion.

Long Thanh airport has a significant impact not only on that area but also on the development and operation of Tan Son Nhat airport in the immediate- and long-term. Therefore, the Government has ordered the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to recruit foreign consultants to review the master plan.

The MoT has recruited ADPi, a French consultant, to conduct elaborate research and various discussions. Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung has received a report from them.

The French foreign consultant said that expanding the airport to the north, which has a golf course area, was expensive due to land compensation. Thus, they suggested expanding to the South, which is different from the opinion of the Vietnamese research team.

The total estimated value of this project is about VND30,793 billion (about US$1.35 million, not including land clearance costs). The area to be added is about 46.2 hectares. The implementation schedule includes two to three years for the first phase and one year for the later one.

With this proposal, the capacity of Tan Son Nhat will be increased from 28 million visitors in 2018 to 50 million visitors in 2025.

Also, Tan Son Nhat airport must satisfy the immediate needs of transport until 2025 without Long Thanh airport. In future, this model should be maintained. It is like Haneda and Narita of Tokyo, Japan, or Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi of Bangkok, Thailand.

According to Deputy Minister Dong, both airports must be balanced. Both domestic and foreign consultants are thoroughly researching all possibilities.

However, some experts say that its increased capacity to 50 million is "very low", suggesting further investment in a runway and additional infrastructure in the North.

The MoT welcomes the critical comments by experts and requests a conclusion on whether the previous plan was suitable.

ADPi also objectively assessed the issue of adding another runway. They proposed just to make use of the existing two, and build such additional works as the terminals. They also suggested the development of convenient transport links, airline service areas, and aircraft repair stations in the North.

According to the MoT, its decision depends on consultants and research institutions. The Ministry will further clarify and submit the master plan to the Prime Minister in March 2018.

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