Tan Son Nhat International AirportEdit profile
Tan Son Nhat International Airport (IATA: SGN, ICAO: VVTS) (Vietnamese: Sân bay Quốc tế Tân Sơn Nhất) is Vietnam's largest international airport in terms of area (800 ha/1,977 acres compared with 650 ha/1,606 acres of Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport and Da Nang's Da Nang International Airport). It has a handling capacity of 15-17 million passengers per year, compared with the capacity of Hanoi - Noi Bai airport of 8 million passengers and Da Nang's 2 million passengers. It is also the largest airport of Vietnam in terms of passengers handled (with an estimated number of over 12.5 million passengers per year in 2009, accounting for more than half of Vietnam's air passenger traffic), serving Ho Chi Minh City as well as Dong Nam Bo in southern Vietnam. Its IATA code SGN was derived from the city's former name of Saigon. In 2010, the airport handled 15,500,000 passengers and 130,547 aircraft movements.History
Tan Son Nhat International Airport has its origins in the early 1930s, when the French colonial government constructed a small airport with unpaved runways, known as Tân Sơn Nhất Airfield near the village of Tan Son Nhat. By mid-1956, with U.S. aid, a 7,200-foot (2,190 m) runway had been built and the airfield near Saigon became known as South Vietnam's principal international gateway. During the Vietnam War (or Second Indochina War), Tan Son Nhut Air Base (then using the alternative spelling Tân Sơn Nhứt) was an important facility for both the U.S. Air Force and the South Vietnamese Air Force. Between 1968 and 1974, Tan Son Nhut Airport was one of the busiest military airbases in the world. During the last days of South Vietnam, Pan Am schedules from 1973 showed Boeing 747 service was being operated four times a week to San Francisco via Guam and Manila.Continental Airlines operated up to 30 Boeing 707 military charters per week to and from Tan Son Nhut Airport during the 1968–74 period.Post-war era
On 9 December 2004, United Airlines became the first U.S. airline to fly to Vietnam since Pan Am's last flight during the Fall of Saigon in April 1975. Flight UA 869, operated using a Boeing 747-400, landed at Ho Chi Minh City, the terminus of the flight that originated from San Francisco via Hong Kong. On 29 October 2006, this service was switched from San Francisco to Los Angeles with a stop in Hong Kong, operating as UA 867 (also using a Boeing 747-400). In 2009, the service UA 869 has resumed once again from San Francisco via Hong Kong International Airport.
In 2006, Tan Son Nhat International Airport served approximately 8.5 million passengers (compared with 7 million in 2005) with 64,000 aircraft movements. It has recently accounted for nearly two thirds of the arrivals and departures at Vietnam's international gateway airports. Due to increasing demand (about 15%-20% per annum), the airport has been continuously expanded by the Southern Airports Corporation.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport served 12.4 million passengers in 2008, compared to 11 million in 2007 and 15.5 million passenger in 2010. In 2010, the domestic terminal handled 8 million passengers which reached its maximum capacity. In the 4th quarter of 2011, the domestic terminal will be expanded to be capable to handle 15 million domestic passengers per annum. According to the new expansion plan announced by the Vietnamese government, the airport will be enlarged to provide facilities and space for approximately 70 aircraft, 23.5 million passengers, and 600,000 tonnes of cargo per annum by 2015.New international terminal
A new international terminal funded by Japanese ODA and constructed by a consortium of four Japanese contractors (KTOM, abbreviation of four contractors' names: Kajima – Taisei – Obayashi Corporation – Maeda), opened in September 2007 with a capacity for 8–10 million passengers a year. The new terminal gives the airport a total annual capacity of 15–17 million passengers. The old terminal is now used for domestic flights. After 2020, when Long Thanh International Airport is completed, Tan Son Nhat will remain operational; however, it will mostly serve for domestic flights, a few international flights and no longer serve transit flights.Facilities
Following the opening of its new international terminal in September 2007, Tan Son Nhat has two major terminal buildings with separate sections for international and domestic flights. The capacity of the new terminal, once fully completed, will be 8 million passengers per annum. When Long Thanh International Airport is completed in 2015, Tan Son Nhat will serve domestic passengers only.
The Prime Minister of Vietnam, by Decision 1646/TTg-NN, has approved the addition of 30 hectares (74 acres) of adjacent area to extend the apron and to build a cargo terminal to handle the rapid increase of passenger (expected to reach 17 million in 2010, compared to 7 million and 8.5 million in 2005 and 2006 respectively) and cargo volume at the airport.Terminals, airlines and destinations
Domestic flights operate from Terminal 1, whilst international flights use Terminal 2.Passenger
The airport's future
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located inside the crowded city of Ho Chi Minh City, making expansions difficult.
Following a recent decision by the Vietnamese Prime Minister, a new airport—Long Thanh International Airport—will replace Tan Son Nhat airport for international departure use. The master plan for the new airport was approved in April 2006. The new airport will be built in Long Thanh county, Dong Nai province, about 50 km (31 mi) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City and 70 km (43 mi) northwest of the petroleum-focused city of Vung Tau, near Highway 51A.
Long Thanh International Airport will be constructed on an area of 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi), and will have four runways (4,000 m x 60 m or 13,100 ft x 200 ft) and be capable of receiving the Airbus A380. The project will be divided in two stages. Stage One calls for the construction of two parallel runways and a terminal with a capacity of 20 million passengers per year, due to be completed in 2020. Stage Two is scheduled for completion in 2035, giving the airport with three passenger terminals and a cargo terminal designed to receive 5 million metric tons of cargo per year. The total invested capital of this project is an estimated $8 billion USD.
Upon completion of Long Thanh International Airport, Tan Son Nhat Airport will serve domestic passengers only. Long Thanh International Airport is expected to be the leading airport on the Indochinese peninsula, and one of the busiest air transportation hubs in the southeast Asian region.