Ho Chi Minh airport to expand capacity to 45 million passengers
HANOI — Ho Chi Minh City’s airport will expand its passenger capacity by about 80% in 2024 with a third terminal, embarking on a 11 trillion dong ($470 million) project after years of delay.
Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh recently visited Tan Son Nhat International Airport and ordered construction to start on the new passenger terminal in September.
“Construction work should be done day and night,” Chinh said, according to local media. The prime minister indicated that the project would be completed in September 2024 if things go according to schedule.
Tan Son Nhat is Vietnam’s biggest airport. Its first and second terminal have the overall capacity to process 25 million people a year.
But the airport has been working well beyond capacity and crowding has gotten worse by the year, with passenger traffic reaching 40 million in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
The third terminal would lift capacity to 45 million people. The government first approved the project about two years ago, but delays in acquiring land and the coronavirus epidemic held up construction.
As Vietnam’s economy slowly returns to pre-pandemic activity, demand for air travel is picking up. Airlines both foreign and domestic intend to add more daytime takeoffs from Tan Son Nhat, but the limited capacity of the airport has created a bottleneck.
Meanwhile, construction is continuing for Ho Chi Minh City’s second airport, Long Thanh International in Dong Nai province, which is expected to further relieve overcrowding at Tan Son Nhat.