Tags Le Nam
Rarely, or not yet, has an airport like Tan Son Nhat, the country's major airport, only accessible by an urban road.

Flying from Tokyo to Fukuoka, it takes only 6 minutes by subway from the airport to Hakata Central Station. From there, the Shinkansen and many other train routes spread to the city and surrounding areas. Fukuoka International Airport is one of the few Japanese airports located in the inner city of Fukuoka - the largest city and the gateway to Kyushu Island, southwestern Japan.

Thanks to the gateway location, convenient transportation and intermodal transport connections, close to the city center, although there is only a 2,800 m runway and two paths, Fukuoka Airport is one of the airports. The busiest in Japan.

Yet in the peak season, with railways, buses, express buses, two car parks with a capacity of 1,700 units, many approaches by highways and urban roads, Fukuoka Airport still cannot avoid accidents. traffic jam. The airport website always recommends that passengers use public transport, or should go early to avoid traffic jams.

Back to Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Son Nhat is also very convenient, because it is located close to the center. If I avoid rush hour, it will only take me 15-20 minutes to the airport. If the plane is not late, another hour may take off. So for those who live in the inner city of Ho Chi Minh City like me, imagine the future to go another 30 km by personal means to go to Long Thanh new airport is a less attractive option.

But broadly speaking, among the nearly 40 million passengers at Tan Son Nhat airport, how many people are in the city? We also have millions of international visitors to Vietnam, then almost all the flight needs - both domestic and international - of southern residents are concentrated here. Further, the airport also serves transit passengers who don't care where Tan Son Nhat is in the city. At that time, we would think, if only there was a train connected to the central area to avoid traffic jams, highways or specialized roads connecting to the airport from many directions, there were many intercity buses located right in the airport like Fukuoka. .

In Tan Son Nhat, Truong Son Street carries both the traffic generated by an airport serving 30 million passengers a year and urban transport connecting the east and west of the airport and the Dong. intersection level with many large and small roads. The story of Truong Son Street is stuck for hours, passengers carrying suitcases and running into Tan Son Nhat every year, in the near future perhaps even more often.

But despite opening some new approaches to reduce the load on the Truong Son road, the core issue remains there. Not to mention the internal capacity of the reception, without the mass transit such as the tram or the bus with priority lanes, it is not possible to mitigate the burden on the road network around the airport. This network is both unreasonable as said, and increasingly overloaded, because of an increasingly crowded airport and a growing HCMC. Except for connecting passengers, all other passengers now must accept the irreplaceable option, going through the densely populated areas of the city, to get to and from the airport.

Before discussing the establishment of an air hub in Southeast Asia, we need a gateway airport not only for Ho Chi Minh City, but also for the southern economic region. The airport needs to meet two requirements: sufficient capacity and facilities to handle nearly 40 million passengers (and counting); Convenient area connection by various modes of transport.

Tan Son Nhat as analyzed, cannot meet these two requirements completely. And it will take a lot of time and money, both directly and indirectly, to improve transportation capacity and rearrange access to the airport. Because of the load, Tan Son Nhat needs to be "rescued".

Please discuss whether Long Thanh in the long term can compete with the transit hubs of East - Southeast Asia such as Incheon, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok or not. First of all, with Long Thanh, we can more effectively address the role of a southern economic gateway airport. We will better serve domestic and foreign passengers not living or wishing to visit Ho Chi Minh City. At the same time, with the public transport system, tram or high-speed bus built synchronously connecting with the airport, people in Ho Chi Minh City will feel more secure when arriving at the new airport without fear of traffic jam.

There are two major problems for Long Thanh today: creating capital does not put pressure on the budget, is attractive enough to attract investment; constructing infrastructure to synchronize with airport construction progress.

First of all, finding $ 4.7 billion of capital for Long Thanh is not a small number. Creating a framework for how large capital flows to Long Thanh is still a variable. For investors, airport infrastructure is an attractive investment direction if the airport has potential for passenger growth; Income from aviation services such as takeoff and non-aviation fees such as ground business operations, parking fees, advertising, create a stable source of income and investors have certain discretion in the process. airport construction and operation. The state management mechanism must also be reasonable and transparent to ensure the above two conditions.

The trend of airport privatization originated in the UK in 1987 with the equitization of 100% state-owned BAA. Similar to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, BAA at that time owned and operated 7 airports including Heathrow - Britain's largest "transit hub". The role of the British government after privatization is to manage the planning of the airport network, to set up regulations on price control and antitrust services.

The BOT model of Van Don airport is the latest example worth checking out. There are also many other privatization models such as long-term lease of the entire airport infrastructure (one-off rent), transfer of airport operating lease rights. These models all have real-world examples.

Next, connecting infrastructure - especially public transport, needs to be implemented synchronously, otherwise Long Thanh will be isolated and not attractive enough compared to Tan Son Nhat. This infrastructure should be included as part of an airport master project, managed by a hub, rather than being separated into a separate project and assigned to another unit for implementation. The new Eastern Bus Station project in District 9 has been completed but does not have connected road infrastructure is a practical example of the lack of synchronism in progress due to different investors, different capital sources and limping in coordination. well suited.

Long Thanh airport needs to be put into full power, both intellectually and financially, to build and put into operation as soon as possible. Time is the most expensive opportunity cost, sooner or later, benefit the country that day.

Le Nam