Home News Vietnam Railway connecting Tan Son Nhat – Long Thanh: Is it feasible?

Railway connecting Tan Son Nhat – Long Thanh: Is it feasible?


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tong questioned the demand, economic efficiency and capital sources for the construction of the railway connecting Tan Son Nhat airport with Long Thanh.
Commenting on the railway network plan for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, Ho Chi Minh City proposed to study the railway plan to connect Tan Son Nhat – Long Thanh airport through the extension of Metro No. 4b. (Gia Dinh – Tomb of Father Ca).

The route follows the highway: Pham Van Dong street, Trang Bom – Hoa Hung railway, Ring 2 route (located in Thu Duc city) and connects the rails directly to the Thu Thiem light rail route – National airport. Long Thanh economic zone at the Ring Road 2 intersection with the Ho Chi Minh City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay Expressway. Ho Chi Minh City also suggested that it is necessary to study the direction of urban railway No. 4b directly connecting with T1, T2, T3 terminals of Tan Son Nhat Airport. The City People’s Committee assessed that this route alignment option, when built, will contribute to the development of the urban railway system in Thu Duc City, convenient for traveling between areas. Talking to Dat Viet, aviation expert – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tong, former Head of the Department of Aviation Engineering, Ho Chi Minh City University of Science and Technology, pointed out 3 problems that make the railway connecting Tan Son airport Nhat – Long Thanh is not feasible. Firstly, about the need to build this railway line. According to Mr. Tong, it is not possible to say here in general that there is a need or indiscriminately stating a few numbers, lacking actual research, but needing specific quantitative analysis. “How many passengers will travel on this railway connecting Tan Son Nhat with Long Thanh? There must be data and an explanation for why there is such data”, he emphasized. Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee wishes to have a railway connecting Tan Son Nhat international airport to Long Thanh international airport. The expert said that, in the past, passenger demand for Long Thanh airport was calculated from the passenger demand forecast for Tan Son Nhat airport and then subtracted from the capacity of Tan Son Nhat airport. This simple calculation is based on the assumption that all excess passenger demand of Tan Son Nhat airport will be transferred to Long Thanh airport. “It is expected that when Tan Son Nhat airport is overloaded with over 50 million passengers, and the demand is up to 75 million passengers, then 25 million passengers will go from Tan Son Nhat through Long Thanh airport. This calculation method is very mechanical and mechanical, potentially posing a huge risk in forecasting passenger demand for Long Thanh airport”, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tong commented and affirmed that passengers do not wait until Tan Tan. Son Nhat will run out of seats and then go to Long Thanh, but they will go to any airport they want to go to. rather than going through Tan Son Nhat. So which passengers from Tan Son Nhat to Long Thanh? Only passengers on domestic flights to Tan Son Nhat need to go to Long Thanh to connect to international routes. And vice versa, only passengers on international flights to Long Thanh without a connection from there to other provinces and cities such as Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang… will return to Tan Son Nhat to fly away. The number of international passengers traveling between these two airports is not much, so there is no need. That is the plan that the Ministry of Transport wants to use Tan Son Nhat airport as a domestic airport and Long Thanh as an international airport. The option of organizing two airports like this is inefficient and unfeasible. In principle of international airport operation, domestic and international terminals must be close to each other. It is best that Long Thanh International Airport is a transit airport for long-distance international flights such as going to Europe and America that need to collect passengers all over the country, and short-distance international flights such as going to Asia. Tan Son Nhat airport and other international airports take over to serve the residential areas of the provinces near the airport. “Most of the excess passenger demand of Tan Son Nhat airport will be transferred to using regional airports, especially passengers in the Mekong Delta will use Can Tho airport. Therefore, from now until then Once the construction of Long Thanh airport is completed, Can Tho International Airport and Cam Ranh International Airport will also be developed to reduce the load on Tan Son Nhat, so that by then there will not be many international visitors for the airport. Long Thanh and other airlines are not foolish to open flights when there are no guests,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tong. The second point noted by the expert is the financial and economic efficiency of the railway. Assuming that when the construction of this route is completed and tickets are collected, will the collected ticket money offset the site clearance costs, railway construction costs, operating costs… or not? Not to mention, if the fare is higher than other means of transport, it is easier for passengers to choose to go by road rather than this railway. “We have to figure out how much those customers pay for a metro ticket between Tan Son Nhat and Long Thanh, how much is the money collected in a year, how many years will it take to recover the capital? Midway station to serve guests wishing to go to Long Thanh and Tan Son Nhat, that is only secondary,” the expert pointed out. The third and most important point, according to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tong, is where to invest, especially in the context of high public debt today. He also reiterated his concerns about Long Thanh airport. The project has been pressed to start construction since the beginning of this year, but worries about the investment capital, feasibility and economic efficiency of the project are still there. The state has to invest a lot of money to build Long Thanh airport, and also has to invest a lot in connecting traffic between the airport and Ho Chi Minh City, the area from the South Central region, and the Mekong Delta to bring tourists. to the airport. However, when the airport and traffic connection system is completed, whether there will be visitors to Long Thanh is still an open question and in the event that Long Thanh airport has no guests, it will be a waste. extremely large and must have someone responsible.