CAN THO - Southern Airports Corporation (SAC) has inaugurated Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta city of the same name with a new world-class terminal and a longer runway for serving more passengers and bigger aircraft.
By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily
The new passenger terminal of Can Tho International Airport CAN THO - Southern Airports Corporation (SAC) has inaugurated Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta city of the same name with a new world-class terminal and a longer runway for serving more passengers and bigger aircraft.
SAC general director Nguyen Nguyen Hung said the 20,750-square-meter terminal able to receive at least three million passengers a year and the 3,000-meter-long runway were developed in phase 2 of the airport project.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Transport Minister Ho Nghia Dung (R) and other senior officials and participants tour the new passenger terminal of Can Tho International Airport after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for this airport on Saturday - Photos: Mong Binh The runway extended by 600 meters long from the old one can handle modern and bigger aircraft including Boeing B777-300ERs and B747-400s as well as Airbus A340s. Other components of phase 2 include lighting and landing systems for airplanes to land and take off at night.
The project has investment capital of some VND3 trillion, or nearly US$154 million. Half of the capital came from SAC’s development investment fund, Hung told the opening ceremony of the international airport last Saturday, which was also attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other senior officials.
Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister said the Can Tho International Airport would give a boost to the Mekong Delta region’s development and improve connections with other parts of Vietnam and other nations.
Vietnam Airlines is conducting many direct return flights between Can Tho and Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday, better known as Tet that falls on February 3. The flagship carrier plans services from Can Tho to Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong and vice versa.
As for domestic air travel, Hung of SAC said the airport helped people save much time and cost for their trips between this Mekong Delta city and Hanoi, as previously they had to travel by car from Can Tho to Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC and then took the flights to the capital city.
As the airport is already in place, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called for stronger investment into the infrastructure in the Mekong Delta to bring potential of the region into play. He added that more major infrastructure projects would get off the ground and be on fast track to ensure consistent road and waterway links between the region and other parts of the country.
Transport Minister Ho Nghia Dung told the opening ceremony that the Government had over the past years given special attention to infrastructure development in the Mekong Delta to back the region’s further integration into other regions of the country and the world.
The minister said up to 36% of the central funding under the ministry’s management had been allocated to the Mekong Delta in the 2006-2010 period. He noted the ministry had worked with localities over plans to make the most of both domestic and official development assistance sources for mammoth projects including Can Tho and Phu Quoc airports.
Can Tho Airport had its runway upgraded and a terminal built from September 4, 2005 in phase 1 of the project. This 2,400 meter-long, 45-meter-wide runway for Airbus A320s and A321s and Boeing B737s, and the 500,000-passenger terminal were put into service for domestic flights in early January 2009.
Hung of SAC estimated 211,000 passengers went through Can Tho Airport in 2010, up around 40% compared to the year ago. He added this airport had so far been in the list of airports recognized by Airports Council International (ACI), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other international aviation organizations.
SAC said the Ministry of Transport last month announced the international status for Can Tho Airport, making it one of the country’s major international airports including Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai and Danang.