Scientists and members of Vietnam’s civil aviation body clashed over the issue of cost during a debate on the proposed Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City air route on December 6 in Hanoi.
Chairman of the Vietnam Economics Association (VEA) Prof. Tran Phuong said the discussion aimed to clarify the economic efficiency of operating a straight flight path between the two cities, dubbed the “Golden Route.”
More than 100 scientists, representatives from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), and airline operators took part in the meeting.
The CAAV has continually insisted that the route, which would run straight along the 106the meridian, is not feasible.
It has cited a host of reasons for its refusal of the plan, including national security issues and cost as the new flight path would take aircraft over neighboring Cambodia and Laos.
During the meeting, Dr. Nguyen Thien Tong, former dean of the Aeronautical Faculty at HCMC University of Technology and lawyer Nguyen Dang Liem questioned CAAV members, demanding proof that the route would be economically inefficient.
Lai Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the CAAV, said the evidence had been presented repeatedly. Accordingly, the aviation body would stand by its original opinion that the project is not practicable, he said.
Prof. Phuong argued that CAAV had failed to convince the public and scientists of the plan’s inefficiency. He expressed dissatisfaction and proposed further meetings to discuss the issue.
The VEA will now submit an official report to the Government detailing its findings from the meeting.
New Hanoi-HCMC air route not practicable: officials
VEA to hold series of debates on “Golden Air Route”
Proposal on new Hanoi-HCM City air route needs more thorough review: CAAV
CAAV turns away from ‘golden air route’
Discussions over new Hanoi-HCM City air route
Air authority accepts new flight route plans