March 2, 2021

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Planning for airports in Ha Giang and Ninh Binh is difficult to achieve

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Some aviation experts assess that the needs of passengers in Ha Giang and Ninh Binh are not high and that the topography of the airport is not favorable.

Contributing to the draft master plan for the development of the airport and airport system nationwide to 2030 and orientations to 2050, the People’s Committee of Ninh Binh and Ha Giang province proposed planning and construction of airports in the area. table. Accordingly, Ninh Binh airport is expected to be located in Kim Son or Yen Khanh district, while Ha Giang airport is located in Tan Quang commune, Bac Quang district.

Commenting on the above proposal, aviation expert Nguyen Bach Tung said that Ninh Binh has increased the number of tourists in recent years, but the travel demand of local people is not great. Meanwhile, the planning of airports for Tho Xuan (Thanh Hoa), Cat Bi (Hai Phong) has calculated the passenger service capacity in neighboring provinces such as Ninh Binh, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, and Ha Nam.

On the road, Mr. Tung said that people from Ninh Binh City to Tien Lang airport (Hai Phong) – where the Cat Bi can later replace and to Tho Xuan (Thanh Hoa) nearly 100 km, with high routes. Existing and future speeds will not take long. In addition, after 2030, the capital area of ​​Hanoi with an additional airport in the south will be 60-80 km away from Ninh Binh, so planning to add an airport in Ninh Binh is not reasonable. Ninh Binh is the operating area of ​​airplanes arriving in Noi Bai from the southern provinces, so it may cause conflicts if an airport is built here.

Similar to Ha Giang, Mr. Nguyen Bach Tung said that this province has a large number of seasonal tourists, but the travel demand of local people is not high. Ha Giang also does not have an area of ​​hundreds of hectares of flat land to build an airport.

However, Ha Giang province currently has only one road, so security and defense factors can be considered in the airport planning. “The road from Ha Giang to airports in Lao Cai or Cao Bang is difficult, so it is difficult to serve the rescue and rescue work, this issue needs to be paid attention,” Tung said.

Agreeing, Assoc.Prof. Dr. Tran Thien Tong said that passengers have little need to fly in Ninh Binh and have options such as arriving at Tho Xuan or Noi Bai airport because international and domestic routes have been stability. If you invest in Ninh Binh airport, you will lose money because of the absence of customers, airlines are not interested in opening flights to small airports.

Similar to Ha Giang, Tong said that if the airport only serves local people, the investment will lose money. Meanwhile, construction costs are very large, will be wasteful and ineffective. “A small airport with a capacity of 500,000 passengers per year is not enough for new investment and operation costs,” said Tong.

The aircraft parked at Tan Son Nhat airport. Image: Quynh Tran.

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Tran Thien Tong proposed that in mountainous areas, only one large airport should be invested in, which is a transit place and a small airport (which can take advantage of the existing military airport) with a runway of less than 1,000 m in length Small 20-seat aircraft waterfall serves people traveling and tourists. This avoids wasting land and capital for construction, while passenger demand in the northern mountainous provinces is not high.

Another aviation expert also assesses the great demand for domestic and foreign tourists to Ninh Binh and Ha Giang, but visitors often visit many places, not just one province. For example, tourists come to Lao Cai and then to the Northwestern and Northeastern provinces. Therefore, calculating the number of tourists coming to Ha Giang as the base to build the airport is inaccurate and the purpose of construction to serve tourism is not enough.

Previously involved in the research on national airport system planning, Mr. Tran Quang Chau, Chairman of the Vietnam Aviation Science and Technology Association, said that in the past, he had proposed to study small airports in Ha Giang because of the criteria to meet tourism, ensure national security and defense. However, airport planning also needs many other criteria such as the province’s GDP, per capita income, economic development orientation, traffic …

According to Mr. Chau, compared with other countries in the region and in the world, the number of civil airports in Vietnam is not much. It is justified that provinces want to have airports for socio-economic development and local tourism. However, the new construction needs to take into account many socio-economic and topographic criteria in the overall airport network nationwide and in the form of socialization, so it must be carefully calculated.

“A province can have three airports if it can be proven that they promote the local economy, society or serve the special economic zone,” Chau said.

Currently, there are 22 airports nationwide. In the North and North Central region alone, there are 8 airports, including 4 international ones, Noi Bai, Van Don, Cat Bi, Vinh and 4 domestic ones, Dien Bien, Tho Xuan, Dong Hoi, Phu Bai.

According to the final draft of the national airport and airport system development master plan for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, under study by the Ministry of Transport, Sa Pa airport (Lao Cai). new construction planning before 2030; Lai Chau, Na San (Son La), Cao Bang and the second airports of the Hanoi capital region will be built after 2030.

The draft is being consulted by ministries and localities, then the appraisal board of the Ministry of Transport will review and evaluate before submitting to the Government.

Doan Loan