Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (IATA: SGN, ICAO: VVTS) is Vietnam’s largest international airport in terms of area (800 ha/1,977 acres compared with 650 ha/1,606 acres of Hanoi’s Nội Bài International Airport and Đà Nẵng’s Đà Nẵng International Airport). It has a handling capacity of 15-17 million passengers per year, compared with the capacity of Hanoi - Noi Bai airport of 8 million passengers and Da Nang’s 2 million passengers.It is also the largest airport of Vietnam in terms of passengers handled (with an estimated number of over 12.5 million passengers per year in 2009, accounting for more than half of Vietnam’s air passenger traffic),serving Ho Chi Minh City as well as Dong Nam Bo in southern Vietnam. Its IATA code SGN was derived from the city's former name of Saigon. In 2010, the airport handled 15,500,000 passengers and 130,547 aircraft movements. In 2011, the airport handled 16,668,400 passengers and 593,494 metric tonnes of cargo.
New International Terminal
A new international terminal funded by Japanese official development assistance and constructed by a consortium of four Japanese contractors (KTOM, abbreviation of four contractors' names: Kajima – Taisei – Obayashi Corporation – Maeda), opened in September 2007 with a capacity for 8–10 million passengers a year. The new terminal gives the airport a total annual capacity of 15–17 million passengers. The old terminal is now used for domestic flights.After 2020, when Long Thanh International Airport is completed, Tan Son Nhat will remain operational; however, it will mostly serve for domestic flights, a few international flights and no longer serve transit flights.
Following the opening of its new international terminal in September 2007, Tan Son Nhat has two major terminal buildings with separate sections for international and domestic flights. The capacity of the new terminal, once fully completed, will be 8 million passengers per annum. When Long Thanh International Airport is completed in 2015, Tan Son Nhat will serve domestic passengers only.
The Prime Minister of Vietnam, by Decision 1646/TTg-NN, has approved the addition of 30 hectares (74 acres) of adjacent area to extend the apron and to build a cargo terminal to handle the rapid increase of passenger (expected to reach 17 million in 2010, compared to 7 million and 8.5 million in 2005 and 2006 respectively) and cargo volume at the airport.
The Airport's Future
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located inside the crowded city of Ho Chi Minh City, making expansions difficult.Following a recent decision by the Vietnamese Prime Minister, a new airport—Long Thanh International Airport—will replace Tan Son Nhat airport for international departure use. The master plan for the new airport was approved in April 2006. The new airport will be built in Long Thanh county, Dong Nai Province, about 50 km (31 mi) Northeast of Ho Chi Minh City and 70 km (43 mi) Northwest of the petroleum-focused city of Vung Tau, near Highway 51A.
Long Thanh International Airport will be constructed on an area of 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi), and will have four runways (4,000 m x 60 m or 13,100 ft x 200 ft) and be capable of receiving the Airbus A380. The project will be divided in two stages. Stage One calls for the construction of two parallel runways and a terminal with a capacity of 20 million passengers per year, due to be completed in 2020. Stage Two is scheduled for completion in 2035, giving the airport with three passenger terminals and a cargo terminal designed to receive 5 million metric tons of cargo per year. The total invested capital of this project is an estimated $8 billion USD.
Upon completion of Long Thanh International Airport, Tan Son Nhat Airport will serve domestic passengers only. Long Thanh International Airport is expected to be the leading airport on the Indochinese peninsula, and one of the busiest air transportation hubs in the southeast Asian region.