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Vietnam considers lifting age ceiling of aircraft

VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Transport, which is drafting amendments for Decrees 92 and 30 on air transport, is contemplating a five-year extension to the maximum life expectancy of aircraft used by airlines in Vietnam.

VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Transport (MOT), which is drafting amendments for Decrees 92 and 30 on air transport, is contemplating a five-year extension to the maximum life expectancy of aircraft used by airlines in Vietnam.


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Vietnam is considering lifting the age ceiling of aircraft



Under current regulations, a passenger aircraft can operate for no more than 20 years and a cargo aircraft no more than 25 years. If the extension suggested by MOT is approved by the government, the life expectancy will be extended to 25 and 30 years, respectively.

Air carriers have proposed that the ministry reconsider regulations on the maximum operational duration of aircrafts, saying that the regulations hinder businesses from joining the air transport market, especially cargo transport.

Director of MOT’s Transportation Department Tran Bao Ngoc, explaining the MOT’s decision to support the airlines’ proposal to prolong aircraft life expectancy, said that even if the operational duration is extended, it would still be below the average in the world.

Ngoc also said that the age of aircraft has certain influences on flight safety, but not decisive influences. The maintenance of aircraft is even more important.

When asked if Bamboo Airways, planning to take off in October, made such a proposal, Ngoc said it was made by other airlines. Bamboo Airways’ representatives were absent at the meetings to discuss the draft decrees.

Deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) Vo Huy Cuong said the maximum operational duration of 20 years for passenger aircrafts was set more than 10 years ago, when Vietnam had no capability to examine aircraft. 

Under current regulations, a passenger aircraft can operate for no more than 20 years and a cargo aircraft no more than 25 years. If the extension suggested by MOT is approved by the government, the life expectancy will be extended to 25 and 30 years, respectively.

Therefore, the management agency found it necessary to set the ceiling for aircraft age as a solution to ensure flight safety and prevent air carriers from buying old aircraft.

Now, as Vietnam is capable of examining aircraft quality, it would be better to lift the ceiling on aircraft age to help air carriers serve passengers, especially in rush hours. 

Vietjet Air’s aircraft have an average age of 2.8 years, Vietnam Airlines’ 5.5 years and Jetstar Pacific’s 7.8 years. 

Aviation experts have different views about this.

Nguyen Duc Cuong, chair of the Vietnam Aerospace Association, commented that the life span of aircraft needs to be set by manufacturers rather than air carriers or a watchdog agency.

Tran Dinh Ba, an expert, also thinks that it is necessary to strictly observe instructions by manufacturers, including one on aircrafts’ operational age, or it will cause safety problems.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thien Tong from the HCMC University of Technology, said it would  be  big waste if aircraft in good conditions cannot fly.


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