Vietnam should invest in hub airports in terms of scale and capacity instead of massively building ones, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV)’s proposal on its draft plan on the development of the national airport system by 2030, with a vision to 2050.

Vietnam needs to build hub airports. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan said some airports are currently operating beyond the designed capacity, many of their items have not been upgraded, especially, no airport has been qualified in the international large hub category.

Tuan was speaking at a conference held in Hanoi on March 3, which aimed to seek ideas for national airport system development.

According to the draft plan, Vietnam will have 26 airports by 2030 and 30 ones by 2050, half of them will be international airports.

With the strong growth in the aviation industry in the future, the plan on the national airport system needs being studied carefully to suit the current situation and the socio-economic development of the country, according to local experts. 

Localities proposed massively building airports

According to the CAAV, some provinces have recently wanted to turn their provincial airport into international airport. However, airport is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the tourist development and investment attraction of a province. Other infrastructures are more essential to attract private investment as well as tourist arrivals.

Phan Xuan Dung, Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, suggested that the plan on the national airport system development should be based on the projection of passenger number, the overall transport network development as well as the air routes system and the development plan of each airport.  

At the same time, the aviation planning should take into account not only the probable economic efficiency, but also the compatibility between civil and military aviation, ensuring aviation security and national defence, Dung added.

Assoc. Dr. Tran Kim Chung, Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that forecasting the international and domestic developments in the 2021-2030 period is very important and necessary for the national airport planning.  

In addition, it is necessary to identify competitors and partners among the airports of other countries in the region, then, consider domestic economic scenarios to have plans for the development of both infrastructure development and airports, Chung said. 

Resources and infrastructure connections

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan said that the plan should have a mechanism to attract resources in order to achieve the goals.

Dr. Chung recommended that the mobilization of non-state economic sectors to invest in airport construction should be seen as a policy and a solution.

Dr. Tran Quang Chau, Chairman of the Vietnam Association on Aviation Science and Technology, affirmed that for the effective mobilization of resources in the way of involving private investment in construction and operation of airports, a transparent policy is a must. “The policy should ensure a harmonization of interests among investors, the state and the people so that the investor would trust in the policy and pour money in investing and operating airports,” he said.

In addition, Dr. Chung also raised the issue of transport connectivity of infrastructures in the planning of the airport development. “Airport planning must be considered as an input to other plans and vice-versa ,” he said. 


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