Cam Ranh Airport faces overload

The number of passengers at Cam Ranh International Airport has surged substantially in recent years while infrastructure fails to address the overload, according to central Khanh Hoa Province’s People’s Committee.

Passengers line up at check-in counters at Cam Ranh Airport. (Photo: VNS)

Statistics from Cam Ranh International Airport revealed that in 2011, the number of passengers reached one million, following which it increased to 2.7 million in 2015. The figure nearly doubled to almost 4.9 million last year.

It is predicted that some six million passengers will arrive in the airport in 2017. Meanwhile, the airport’s capacity is designed to serve only 2.5 million passengers for both domestic and international flights. In the first two months of this year, Cam Ranh Airport handled up to 1 million passengers, of which half were foreigners.

The airport has been witnessing hectic activity, with 16 airlines operating domestic and international flights.

Cam Ranh Airport was constructed by the American Army for military purposes during the war. In 2004, it was turned into a civic airport, and five years later in 2009, it was upgraded to an international airport.

Besides the existing deterioration of the concrete runway due to the lack of State budget funds for renovation, the second runway is under construction with total investment of more than VND1.93 trillion (US$85.8 million). This runway is meant to put into operation in early 2018.

Local authorities, in their proposal to the Prime Minister, said the province would manage and mobilise the province’s legal investment on the runway on its own.

However, delay in investment mobilisation since early last year has slowed down the project. Currently, the second runway’s construction has halted.

Le Duc Vinh, chairman of Khanh Hoa Province’s People’s Committee, said due to the limited provincial budget since 2016, the project is running behind schedule by more than 100 days.

During a meeting with authorities of Khanh Hoa Province last month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to mobilise a part of the State budget for the airport’s facilities. The provincial authorities, meanwhile, will need to search for an additional source of investment to ensure the second runway meets its construction deadline.

In September 2016, Cam Ranh International Airport Joint Stock Company commenced the construction of an international terminal with investment of more than VND3.7 trillion ($164.4million).

The Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) and Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (Viettinbank) supported the project with VND2.98 trillion ($132.4million) loans to the investor. The first phase of the new terminal is scheduled to be completed early next year.

Source: VNS

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