The current air route between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (red) and the planned route (yellow) that cuts through Laos and Cambodia. Photo credit: VnEconomy
Vietnam's aviation insiders and their colleagues in Laos and Cambodia have agreed to allow flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to pass through their airspace.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) recently announced that the Ministry of Transport agreed in mid-October to introduce the flights in two stages.
The first phase will establish a one-way route from Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi's Noi Bai airport.
A parallel northbound route will be established 20 miles to the east in the second phase, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
Both routes will run 10,650 meters (35,000 feet) above Laos and Cambodia, a higher altitude that should save fuel, the newspaper reported.
The separate routes should create more safety and convenience during takeoff and landing, the CAAV said.
A trial flight conducted in early September from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City through Laos and Cambodia’s airspace saved five minutes off the total flight time and saved 190 kilograms of fuel since it was 85 kilometers shorter than the current flight path.
The CAAV and its counterparts in Laos and Cambodia are currently consulting the International Civil Aviation Organization over technical and safety issues before seeking final approval from their respective governments.
The agencies are scheduled to finalize the air routes on May 14 of 2015 and begin using them on June 25.
Vietnam will not have to request permission for each flight. But the transport ministry is seeking to negotiate a reasonable fee with Laos and Cambodia for the use of their airspace.