Airport International News - January 2011

Vietnam's New Can Tho Airport Opens

Posted by Airport International's Global Correspondent on 04/01/2011 - 15:00:00

Can Tho International Airport, pictured days before its official opening

Vietnam has marked the beginning of a New Year with the opening of a new airport.

The airport – Can Tho International – is sited on more than 20,000 square metres of land, cost $150m to build and will handle as many as five million passengers every 12 months.

Can Tho International Airport occupies the same space as an earlier site – the former Binh Thuy Air Base. This was a military facility that saw extensive use during the Vietnam War, and both United States Air Force and Vietnamese Air Force aircraft operated from it.

Now, the site has a new civilian purpose, and commercial flight operations there commenced on 1st January 2011.

Can Tho International Airport: Vietnam

Can Tho International Airport lies in the massive Mekong Delta region, and it boosts the transport links that already exist between it and other parts of Vietnam.

Operations there are controlled by Vietnam’s Southern Airports Authority, and the airport features a single 3,000 metre-long asphalt runway. The runway gained its length within a redevelopment programme implemented at Can Tho between 2006 and 2010.

Further site modifications included the addition of single passenger and cargo terminals. The passenger terminal’s initial capacity is 2m passengers per annum, but future growth could expand this to 5m.

New Vietnamese Airport

The runway gives Can Tho the ability to handle the majority of modern commercial aircraft designs but, so far, only Vietnam Airlines is using the new Vietnamese airport. Six routes are presently being flown and, while a couple of these will end over the next few weeks, four more are scheduled to be added.

Can Tho International Airport was officially inaugurated by Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, on the first day of the year. Highlighting the site’s potential, he said it supplied a “...big opportunity for Can Tho city in particular and the south-western area in general to make fast and sustainable development and helps facilitate air travel in the region.”

Vietnam Airlines is the country’s flagship carrier and has been in existence for over five decades. Close to 300 Vietnam Airlines flights take place each day and, overall, the carrier flies to almost 50 different airports. Medium-sized Airbus products like the A320 and A321 aircraft make up the majority of its fleet.

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