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Con Dao Island airport will be able to handle larger Airbus 320 planes after expansion 


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Con Dao Island airport in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Transport

 

Con Dao Island airport in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu is now expected to be expanded to accept bigger aircraft, which will increase capacity to two million passengers a year.

 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) has submitted to the Ministry of Transport a planning adjustment for Con Dao Airport by 2030 for approval.

 

The initial planning for the airport’s upgrade and expansion was approved by the Minister of Transport in 2006.

The Con Dao Island airport located in the province’s Con Dao Island District was originally built during the French colonial period. 

 

The airport was upgraded back in 2003 and opened for operations a year later, serving both civil and military flights.

 

In the 2010-16 period, it achieved an average growth of 22.7 per cent annually.

 

Demand for flights to Con Dao Island has increased sharply. In recent years, the growth rate of passengers through the airport has exceeded forecasts.

 

1/2 Million a year

 

By 2025, the airport is expected to welcome 500,000 passengers a year.

 

However, the number of passengers reached 447,750 last year, a year-on-year increase of 4.1 per cent despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The upgrade of the airport will allow it to receive aircraft like the Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 and freight output of 4,400 tons a year.

 

The total investment for the upgrade and expansion is estimated at more than VNĐ5.4 trillion (US$234.7 million), including VNĐ76.4 billion ($3.3 million) for site clearance.

 

CAAV plans to expand and upgrade the existing runway that currently can only handle ATR72 and smaller aircraft.

A new aircraft apron will have enough space for at least eight Airbus A320s.

 

CAAV has also proposed building a new passenger terminal, a 4,315sq.m cargo terminal, and a parking lot to meet increasing passenger demand and cargo volume.

 

A new air traffic control tower will be built to ensure flight operations.

 

It will install an airport beacon system, Autonomous Runway Incursion Warning System (ARIWS), Multilateration (MLAT) system, weather radar system, runway monitoring system, and bird detection system.

 

About 230km from HCM City, Con Dao Island is the home to Con Dao prison where French and American invaders jailed and tortured many Vietnamese revolutionaries during the 19th and 20th centuries.

 

The island has great potential for ecological and spiritual tourism with tangible and intangible national Cultural Heritage sites and traditional arts.

 

It was included in the list of the New York Times' "52 places to Love in 2021" article in January and praised as one of 12 paradise islands in Asia by CNN in 2017.

 

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