Côn Đảo Airport, based on Côn Sơn in Vietnam just off the country’s south coast, received domestic flights to a variety of destinations across the country. 

Today, it has been reported that the small airport is to close temporarily for expansion. 

Further details 

The airport has been faced with a rather crumpled style of running – its operations are limited due to its size. As a result, a temporary nine-month closure has been agreed upon in order for the site to be expanded. 

Vietnamese news outlet VTV has recently reported that, as part of a plan orchestrated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, Côn Đảo Airport will close next April and remain closed over a nine-month period for work to take place. 

ATR 72 in Con Dao
Regional aircraft like the ATR 72 are frequent users of Côn Đảo. | © Patrick Farrelly via Wikimedia Commons

The expansion will allow the airport to increase its annual capacity substantially to 2 million passengers per year – approximately 5 times more than its current capacity. 

Côn Đảo Airport will also be able to expand the type of aircraft it can host as the expansion will allow the airport to handle larger narrowbody twinjets such as the popular Airbus A320 and A321. 

How so? Well, the current plan involves the current runway to be widened by 5 meters and extended by 15 meters. The amount of available parking stands for aircraft will be quadrupled from two to eight. 

Nighttime operations will also be allowed to take place at an increased rate following the addition of upgraded lighting. 

Con Dao Airport
Vietnam Airlines aircraft at Con Dao Airport. | © alotrip.com

These upgrades to Côn Đảo Airport are part of a larger public investment initiative running from 2021 to 2025. This means that the expansion work is funded by the state budget invested by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam and the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, which will be providing investment towards the upgrade of Côn Đảo Airport’s infrastructure specifically. 

In the time being…

While Côn Đảo Airport needs this expansion and the upgrades will benefit the airport and the community substantially, during the airport’s closure it is probable that significant disruption will occur. 

This is because the airport provides the islands with vital air links to mainland Vietnam. Flights to the country’s main international airport, Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (based in Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City) typically depart from Côn Đảo and are a crucial link for travellers to get to and from the island. 

Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Tan Son That is the busiest airport in Vietnam with 38.5 million passengers in 2018. | © Skytrax

VTV added that the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport does plan to provide alternative transport for the demand while the airport undergoes work. Reportedly, airports are considered to be an alternative. 

Have you flown from Côn Đảo? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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