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Poor airport infrastructure hinders Vietnam’s tourism development

VietNamNet Bridge - The overloading at airports and delays of flights could lead to a drop in tourism, experts say. 

VietNamNet Bridge - The overloading at airports and delays of flights could lead to a drop in tourism, experts say. 


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Vietnam attracts more and more foreign travelers



A report released at a working session between the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) and Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung in mid-October showed that Vietnam’s aviation market grew by 16.6 percent per annum in the number of passengers and 14 percent in cargo transport. The figures show the rapid development and the great potential of the market.

However, the overloading of airports and degradation of infrastructure has become serious. The situation is especially bad at Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai, Cam Ranh and Da Nang airports.

The Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airport has the capacity of 21 million passengers, but served 24 million passengers in 2017, which put a burden on terminals, parking lots, logistics areas and transport infrastructure.

The Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airport has the capacity of 21 million passengers, but served 24 million passengers in 2017, which put a burden on terminals, parking lots, logistics areas and transport infrastructure.

Over the last 40 years, Vietnam only built the Phu Quoc Airport in Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province and Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh Province. The other existing airports were upgraded from military airports which had limited land and could not be expanded. 

Meanwhile, Luong Hoai Nam, deputy CEO of Vietstar Airlines, pointed out that the capacity of the airports in Vietnam is also much lower than other regional countries. 

The airports in Bangkok (Thailand), Changi (Singapore) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), can receive passengers equal to the total number at 21 airports in Vietnam.

In theory, airports in Vietnam have a capacity of 75 million passengers a year, but they served 95 million passengers last year and 105 million this year.

Tan Son Nhat Airport, which has the biggest capacity with 25 million passengers, is  overloaded. 

“Imagine that a house which is designed to accommodate 25 people had to receive 36 people last year and plan to receive 40 people this year,” Nam said. “The images of passengers running into the airport because of traffic jams clearly have discouraged travelers.”

Nam suggested solutions to upgrade the quality of the airport infrastructure, including allowing private investors to build terminals and airports. Van Don remains the only airport in Vietnam developed by private investors.

Sharing the same view, Ngo Minh Duc, chair of HG JSC, also urged the upgrade of the aviation infrastructure and private investments in airport development, saying that this is the prerequisite for tourism to develop.

Meanwhile, Tran Trong Kien, chair of the Tourism Advisory Board, CEO of Thien Minh Group, asserted that Vietnam, which has the number of airlines equal to one-third of Thailand’s, needs to open its sky to more air carriers.


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