Vietnam has agreed a major programme for airport expansion and improvement that will see ten international airports operating in the country by 2020.
The country’s ministry of transport has approved plans to upgrade Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to have two runways capable of handling super-jumbos.
The aim is for the capital’s hub to be able to receive 20-25 million passengers annually compared with the current level of seven million passengers a year.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City will be upgraded and enlarged to receive around 70 planes an hour by 2015. It will be able to handle 23.5 million passengers a year.
However, as the airport is located within the already crowded city, expansion is limited. In 2006, the government announced plans for the country’s largest airport to be built at Long Thanh, Dong Nai Province, in southern Vietnam, around 40km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Long Thanh is intended to become operational by 2011 and will handle over 100 million passengers annually when it is built to the maximum designed capacity. It will have four runways and five terminals.
Cat Bi International Airport in the northern port city of Haiphong will be upgraded to receive 2 million passengers by 2015.
In the central region, besides Da Nang and Phu Bai international airports, the government has also approved expansion of Cam Ranh and Chu Lai airports
Cam Ranh airport in Khanh Hoa Province, is to be upgraded by 2015, when the coastal city airport should be able to handle up to 16 aircraft an hour and 1.5 million passengers a year.
Phu Quoc International Airport is already under construction and is expected to open in 2012, when it will be able to handle up to seven million passengers a year, visiting the island close to the Cambodian mainland.
The last of the ten airports, Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta is building a terminal designed to serve three million passengers annually and is expected to become operational next year.