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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Ferry, helicopter rides to Con Dao to increase during airport upgrade

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The frequency of ferry and helicopter services to Con Dao Island off the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau will increase during the closure of the airport there for an upgrade from April to December 2023, said the Ministry of Transport.

Anticipating that the upcoming closure of Con Dao Airport would partly affect air travels, the Transport Ministry will direct the Vietnam Maritime Administration and the relevant agencies to tighten supervision over passenger transport businesses to ensure safety during trips to the island.

The ministry also asked the local authorities to work together to receive passenger ships to the island.

As shared by the ministry, the Southern Vietnam Helicopter Company, under the Vietnam Helicopter Corporation, is currently in charge of operating the Vung Tau-Con Dao helicopters.

On that account, the Vietnam Helicopter Corporation will closely coordinate with the relevant units to offer the helicopter service during the airport upgrade.

Currently, two local carriers, Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways, operate air services to Con Dao Island.

Con Dao Airport handles flights to/from HCMC, Hanoi and Can Tho, with 20-22 daily flights and an annual capacity of 400,000 passengers.

Given the poor infrastructure, the airport has been overwhelmed by a huge volume of passengers traveling to the island over the past years. It can only use small aircraft with a designed capacity of some 100 passengers each for daytime flights.

Therefore, expanding the existing runway and apron is essential for the airport to receive larger aircraft such as A320s/321s, which can carry over 200 passengers each.

To handle the larger jets to and from the island, the government agencies proposed lengthen the runway by 120 meters heading toward the sea.

The upgrade project will cost an estimated VND3.7 trillion, backed by the State budget and private capital.

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