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Hanoi Is Considering Building a Second Airport to the South

To accommodate the capital’s rising demand for air travel, Hanoi officials are considering building a second airport.

The Hanoi Department of Planning and Architecture recently requested the central government to assess the feasibility of establishing a new airport in Ung Hoa District in southern Hanoi, reports VnExpress. The suggestion was directed at a national master plan for aviation development from 2021 to 2030 that Vietnam is putting together.

According to the department, there are many advantages to having a second aerodrome in Ung Hoa District: travel to metropolitan Hanoi would be fast, and the area can be reached by road, water, and railway transport. Site clearance would also be convenient and the district has ample land for airport expansion and constructing a satellite city, industrial zones, and other infrastructure.

This is not the first time the idea to build a Noi Bai sibling has come up. A blueprint for future Hanoi urban development until 2030 approved in 2016 presented four potential locations for a second airport — Ly Nhan District in Ha Nam Province (60–65 kilometers from central Hanoi), Ung Hoa District in Hanoi (35–40 kilometers away), Thanh Mien and Binh Giang districts in Hai Duong Province (45–50 kilometers away), and Tien Lang District in Hai Phong (120 kilometers away).

Hanoi–Saigon is among the world’s fastest-growing flight routes, ranking 6th among the busiest routes globally back in 2019. This, coupled with rising interest in air travel in the country, has made Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat Vietnam’s most overcrowded airports, wearing down key facilities like runways faster than expected and lowering service quality.

The Vietnamese government projected back in 2008 that Noi Bai could serve about 20 to 25 million passengers annually in 2020, but according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, the airport welcomed 29.1 million passengers in 2019, far exceeding expectations.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Transport announced the closure of runways at both Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat for repairs due to severe structural damage that could pose a threat to aircraft.

[Photo via Vietnam Airlines]