New terminal at Buon Ma Thuot Airport to open in December
By Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC - Construction is now in the final process at a new passenger terminal of Buon Ma Thuot Airport and auxiliary works, and Southern Airports Corp. (SAC) prepares to put into use this new facility in December this year.
The project owner said infrastructure building at the new terminal had been almost completed after nearly two years. Work is now progressing at instruction boards, approach roads, a parking area and the lighting system outside the terminal, and the extended parking area for modern aircraft at the airport in the Central Highlands region.
The new two-storey terminal, when in place, will quadruple the airport’s passenger handling capacity during peak hours compared to the existing facility. As designed, this new facility will receive more than one million passengers a year and four flights by Airbus A321 in a peak hour.
With the modern terminal, SAC said passengers would spend less time on departure and arrival flights; for instance a maximum of 15 minutes for check-in procedures and five minutes for security checks for passengers. It takes about 45 minutes to complete baggage claim of a whole flight operated by Airbus A321 and only 20 minutes for small airplanes.
Buon Ma Thuot Airport now has a 3,000-meter-long, 45-meter-wide runway. The upgraded parking area will accommodate two Airbus A321s in addition to lots for Airbus A320s, ATR-72s and Fokker 70s.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines and Air Mekong offer flights to and from Buon Ma Thuot Airport. More than one month ago, Air Mekong launched three weekly flights between Buon Ma Thuot and Vinh City to cater to rising demand for air travel between the Central Highlands and Central Vietnam.
SAC said last year Buon Ma Thuot Airport handled more than 260,000 passengers, up 28.6% compared to 2009 as well as 3,920 safe landings and take-offs, a year-on-year increase of around 42.3%. The number of passengers last month alone grew more than 42% over the same period last year to nearly 35,000.