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Minister orders thorough check on Vietnam’s busiest airport

Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 12:32 GMT+7
Minister orders thorough check on Vietnam’s busiest airport
Passengers are seen at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam’s Minister of Transport has requested a special team be formed to exhaustively review the infrastructure and operations at Tan Son Nhat International Airport to revitalize the image of the country’s largest terminal in the eyes of passengers.

The inspection team is tasked with reviewing and assessing everything related to the Ho Chi Minh City airport, be it “on the ground, in the air, and inside and outside the terminal,” Minister Dinh La Thang told a meeting on Monday.

“There are still many shortcomings at Tan Son Nhat and the service quality there is not good enough, despite efforts by relevant parties,” the minister said.

Managers at Tan Son Nhat have repeatedly complained that the airport is overloaded and in dire need of an expansion and capacity upgrade.

The terminal is listed as the fourth-worst airport in Asia in 2015 by travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports, whereas its Hanoi counterpart, Noi Bai International Airport, is among the Asian top 30.

But Minister Thang said the blame should not be placed only on the infrastructure, as “relevant agencies must exert more efforts.”

“Subjective reasons are behind many incidents that should not have occurred, so you must try more,” he underlined.

The minister added that Tan Son Nhat must be viewed as the first image of the country so “everyone has a responsibility to beautify such an image.”

Minister Thang also tasked the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam with preparing a detailed and accurate report on the operations of Tan Son Nhat.

“We have to figure out the reasons behind the poor service quality and work out solutions,” he said.

Tan Son Nhat is capable of receiving 25 million passengers a year, and is slated to reach this threshold by the end of 2017.

Vietnam’s legislature ratified the construction of a new airport in June to share the burden with Tan Son Nhat.

Long Thanh International Airport, to be built in the eponymous district of Dong Nai Province, is expected to be able to handle 100 million passengers and five million metric tons of cargo a year by its last phase.

Tan Son Nhat, however, is surprisingly listed among the “World's Most Improved Airports” by World Airport Awards.

The Ho Chi Minh City terminal stands at 7th place in the list topped by France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The World Airport Awards, widely known as the Passengers Choice Awards, is decided by votes from customers in the largest annual global airport customer satisfaction survey, according to the awards’ website.

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