Making news

Tan Son Nhat airport braces for Tet holiday's gridlock

HCM City and aviation authorities have taken measures to ensure security at Tan Son Nhat International Airport and ease congestion in and around it during the Tet (Lunar New Year) rush.

The New Year falls on January 25 this year.

According to the Tan Son Nhat Airport Authority, during the month from January 10 to February 8, the airport expects to provide ground services to over 41.2 million passengers, including 25.5 million domestic passengers, an increase of 9.06 percent from last year.

The number of flights operated by domestic carriers during the period will rise by 5-7 percent to 840-850 a day.

On January 22 there will be 965 flights carrying 152,470 passengers.

A Vietnam Airlines spokesman said the carrier would add 56 flights on seven domestic sectors from HCM City to Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Da Nang, Hue, Quang Nam, and Phu Quoc to meet the rising demand during Tet.

The surge in the number of passengers and relatives, especially of overseas Vietnamese returning home, usually causes traffic congestion on the surrounding of the airport, with motorbike drivers in recent days having to navigate through the spaces between the cars and coaches to get to Tan Son Nhat airport.

Radio channels and the official traffic information website of the HCM City constantly broadcast warnings to drivers to avoid the areas around the airport if they could choose another road.

The city Department of Transport describes them as traffic “hotspots” during the Tet month, and a committee comprising officials from various agencies has been set up to ensure traffic flows smoothly in the area.

The hotspots include the Lang Cha Ca roundabout, the Hoang Van Thu-Nguyen Van Troi-Phan Dinh Giot intersection and the Truong Son intersection.

The transport department has urged other agencies not to permit repair works in the area between 6am and 10pm during the month except in special cases.

Inspectors from the department have been instructed to coordinate with the traffic police force to penalise violators.
Bus routes would be adjusted and more buses would ply to the airport during the month, the department added.