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$45mn debris detection system proposed for Vietnam’s major airports

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 16:12 GMT+7

Vietnam’s aviation watchdog is seeking approval for a multimillion-dollar project to equip two of the country’s biggest airports with a system that will ensure planes do not hit foreign objects on their runways.

The FOD detection system, designed to spot foreign objects and debris (FOD) on the surface of a runway or taxiway, should be put in place at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International Airports, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said in a proposal to the Ministry of Transport.

It will cost around VND1 trillion (US$44.64 million) for the system’s installation at the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City airbases, according to the proposal.

The system at Noi Bai is expected to cost more than VND486 billion ($21.7 million), and Tan Son Nhat nearly VND510 billion ($22.77 million).

The CAAV said the systems will automatically run alarms on any FOD detected on runways without causing signal interference to other technical systems of the airport.

The platforms will help keep both airports’ runways clear of foreign objects, debris, as well as from intrusions by birds and wild animals, the CAAV said.

The CAAV has suggested that the transport ministry select the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, the operator of the country’s airports, to be the developer of the FOD project.

The ACV will be in charge of overseeing, operating and maintaining the detection systems.

“If the ACV fails to arrange capital for the project, it can call for investment from the private sector and pay them back later,” the CAAV suggested.

More than 150 cases of bird strikes and debris hitting planes were recorded at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat between 2014 and 2016, with 20 incidents occurring last year alone, according to the ACV.

In August 2016, the ACV also sought approval from the transport ministry for the installation of a VND1,162 billion ($51.88 million) airfield bird detection system to alleviate the problem.

The proposition was rejected on several grounds, including one requesting airlines charge passengers an extra fee to pay for the system investment.

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