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US, Vietnam discuss opportunities for aviation cooperation

Friday, April 19, 2019, 15:42 GMT+7
US, Vietnam discuss opportunities for aviation cooperation
Airplanes of Vietnamese carriers are seen at an airport. Photo: Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre

The United States on Thursday organized a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City centered on bilateral cooperation in Vietnam’s airport infrastructure development, after the Southeast Asian country was awarded an aviation safety rating needed to launch non-stop flights between the two countries.

More than 80 public and private sector representatives from both countries discussed opportunities and areas for collaboration as the two countries prepare for direct flights, the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City said in a press release.

Vietnamese airlines will be able to fly to the United States and codeshare with American carriers after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declared the Southeast Asian country complies with international safety standards following its being awarded a “Category 1” rating in mid-February.

There are currently no non-stop flights between Vietnam and the United States, and the FAA rating was important for Vietnam, paving the way for direct services to be launched.

Thursday’s workshop built on the momentum created by the FAA’s announcement to grant Vietnam Category 1 status two months ago as well as aviation sector commercial contracts signed during President Trump’s visit to Hanoi in late February, Deputy Consul General Timothy Liston of the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City said at the event.

Liston highlighted the opportunity for greater cooperation between the United States and Vietnam in the aviation sector.

“The Trump administration has underscored its commitment to the Indo-Pacific region through our continued efforts to partner on key infrastructure projects, like many of the ones we are discussing today,” Liston stated.

Attendees pose for a group photo at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, April 18, 2019. Photo: U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City

Attendees pose for a group photo at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, April 18, 2019. Photo: U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City

The workshop also featured the FAA, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade & Development Agency, all focused on working closely with Vietnam to develop key airport infrastructure projects. 

Representatives from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, and other prominent private sector developers and stakeholders shared information regarding Vietnam’s airport development plans.

The U.S.-Vietnam Aviation Industry Group organized the workshop, in an effort to partner with Vietnam’s public and private sector to modernize and develop the country’s aviation infrastructure, all while helping prepare for direct flights between the two countries. 

Currently, the group represents 26 companies, six U.S. government agencies and departments, and two U.S. business associations. 

Company members cover a broad range of resources and expertise, including airport development and construction, aircraft, air traffic and on-ground safety and security, maintenance and repair operations, and equipment and engineering services. 

The team of U.S. government agencies also provides a range of support and expertise, from technical assistance, financing support to funding for planning and pilot projects.

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