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Noi Bai Runways in Dire Need of Repair, No Solution in Sight

Both runways at Noi Bai International Airport are in dire need of repair, yet it is unclear when such work may happen.

According to VnExpress, a recent inspection at the airport found that the runways feature cracks and deformities, while one has meter-wide tire marks running down it. Several taxiways are also in a poor state.

This damage has been known about since 2016, while in March the Ministry of Transport proposed that the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) provide US$181 million for repair work here and at Tan Son Nhat in Saigon. This proposal has not been approved.

In an odd quirk, when ACV privatized in 2017, it took control of managing terminals and parking areas at all 21 airports in Vietnam, while the runway remained under state management.

The news source reports that the government doesn't have sufficient funds to carry out the much-needed repairs, while ACV does have the money, but can't spend it without approval.

Tran Hoai Phuong, director of the Northern Airports Authority, told the newspaper that the runways were designed to handle an average of 37 flights per hour, but on busy days 42 flights are using them per hour.

Additionally, when the runways opened in 2003, they were intended to accommodate 10,500 takeoffs and landings over two decades, while as of April 2018, they had already undergone 284,200 of these movements.

[Photo via Flickr user Nick Raider]

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