Time does really fly. It seems like only yesterday that the Phu Bai International Airport in Hue, Vietnam was closed for upgrade when it actually happened in March this year. Aware of the importance of the role the airport plays for Central Vietnam, transport authorities have approved for earlier opening on the coming 20 September. The duration of the closure is shortened from the planned eight months to merely six months.
The airport, which is located approximately 15km away from the city centre, had shut down mainly for runway upgrades and repairs that cost roughly between 500 and 600 billion Vietnamese dong. According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, the early completion is a result of the contractors' increased working shifts. The runway asphalting is expected to finish by August while the lights and control equipment installation will be in early September. The administration's inspection is planned on 16 September, followed by the official reopening day on 20 September.
With a larger runway that measures 2, 800 metres in length and 45 metres in width, the airport will be able to handle bigger planes. That's not all! The airport can accommodate up to 20 planes during peak hours and 5 million passengers a year seven years from now. By 2030, it was forecasted that the airport shall increase its capacity to 26 planes and 9 million passengers.
The airport upgrade at Phu Bai International Airport (also known as Hue Airport) acts as a part of the government's plan to develop Hue to be a vital tourism destination in Vietnam. It is because Hue is rich of well-preserved forts, tombs and pagodas recoganized by UNESCO. The general manager of La Residence Hotel & Spa in Hue, Phan Trong Minh stated, "Restoring direct access to Hue is a crucial step in enticing visitors and boosting the city's profile. Now that logistical issues are out of the way, Hue can reclaim its place as one of Vietnam's most alluring – and accessible – destinations."