Vietnam's biggest airport to stop receiving new flights during rush hours

By Mai Khanh, Thanh Nien News

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 Passengers line up for checking in at Tan Son Nhat Airport, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Mai Ha
As overcrowding is getting more serious at Vietnam's largest airport Tan Son Nhat, local aviation authority is now looking to stop receiving new flights during rush hours, a local official said on Saturday.
Dang Tuan Tu, director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based airport, was speaking at a press conference, where it was announced that Tan Son Nhat's arrivals hit 25 million that same day, five years before planned.
Tu said it is impossible to receive more airplanes early in the morning and from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., as Tan Son Nhat is especially overcrowded at the time with 39 takeoffs and landings per hour, compared to its designed capacity of 35 flights per hour.
However, he said, there are still chances for airlines to open new routes connected to the airport, as long as new flights operate during other hours.
Tan Son Nhat has proposed the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) discount services during off-peak hours to encourage airlines to disperse their flights, according to Tu.
In another effort to reduce the overcrowding, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam is speeding up the plan to expand its international terminal so it can serve 13 million passengers a year, compared to 10 million like now, he said. The expansion is slated to be completed next August.
Many other parts of the airport, including  the airplane apron and taxi stands, are also set to be expanded, he said, adding the expansion will be finished soon.
The official also promised that the quality of services and procedures such as passenger screening and dining at Tan Son Nhat, which has come under fire for infamously bad quality services in recent months, will also be improved.

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