New Hanoi-HCMC air route not practicable: officials

Civil and military aviation officials are lukewarm about a plan for aircraft to fly in a straight line between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City over neighboring countries.

At a meeting held November 4 between officials from the Ministry of Transport, Government Office, Party Office, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), Antiaircraft Military Force, and airlines, several warned the new route would impact on national security since it passes through some sensitive areas, including military training zones.

Though the route, along 106º east longitude, would be much shorter than the current one that takes aircraft over the East Sea, officials said at the meeting it would not reduce costs much since Laos and Cambodia would have to be paid fees for using their airspace.

Nevertheless, discussion participants said it would be feasible for an international flight, CAAV and concerned agencies have to push up the progression to conduct it to meet socioeconomic growth.

The route was first proposed by Mai Trong Tuan, a former military pilot, in 1983.

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By T. Tuyet - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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