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As demand soars, airports face a ‘traffic’ problem

As demand soars, airports face a ‘traffic’ problem
 

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Tan Son Nhat airport in HCM City will have parking space for ten more airplanes, and Hanoi’s Noi Bai terminal will also be expanded.
Nguyen Nguyen Hung, General Director of the Southern Airports Corporation, told VnExpress that current parking space for planes at Tan Son Nhat Airport is just enough to serve 20 million passengers a year, or 54,800 passengers a day.
During the Tet holidays, Tan Son Nhat airport has handled up to 376 flights with 58,000 passengers a day. “The airport is getting overloaded, so why the Civil Aviation Administration (CAAV) is planning to increase the number of aircraft parking spaces,” Hung said.
Tan Son Nhat’s present 42 parking spaces will be expanded to 52. “With more than 50 spaces, we will be able to meet current demand. Finding enough places to park aircraft is a common problem at many international airports,” Hung said.
Noi Bai airport now has 24 parking spaces. It receives nearly 90 flights a day. Some days, the airport becomes so overloaded aircraft must queue up to take off or land. There also, aviation authorities are considering a plan to arrange more parking spaces.
The Southern Airports Corporation said air carriers are expected to help solve the crowding problem at Tan Son Nhat by setting up rational flight networks and arranging a flight frequency that puts less pressure on the airport. Meanwhile, Tan Son Nhat plans to ease the traffic jam by setting higher fees to park during peak hours.
Air carriers aren’t pleased. “It is very difficult to change our flight frequency. Our flights are geared to demand, i.e we arrange flights when and where people want to fly,” the representative of an airline said.
However, to meet the explosion in demand for service, it is now urgent to upgrade airport infrastructure, re-arrange aircraft parking spaces and solve overloading at terminals.
In 2009, airports in Vietnam handled over 26 million passengers and 445,800 tons of cargo, or four times more than in 2000. In the first seven months of 2010, the number of passengers traveling by air was up 33 percent year over year.
Air Mekong will officially enter the market in October with a fleet of four aircraft. Jetstar Pacific expects to put an Airbus 320 into service in October, and eventually its fleet will have 16 aircraft instead of the current five. Vietnam Airlines will receive 40 new aircraft by 2015.
Lai Xuan Thanh, a deputy director at CAAV, told VnExpress that his agency is working with carriers on a five and ten year strategy of industry development, so as to re-arrange aircraft parking spaces. “Land cannot grow. We need to sit together with airlines to review business operations in order to arrange parking spaces,” Thanh said.
Forty-five airlines are developing service on 55 international air routes to and from Vietnam. In addition, Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific are developing 40 domestic air routes.

 

Source: VnExpress

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