Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport is Vietnam’s largest international airport in terms of area (850 ha compared with 650 ha of Ha Noi’s Nội Bài International Airport and Đà Nẵng International Airport). After recent expansion to meet increasing demand, it currently has a handling capacity of 25 million passengers per year, compared with the capacity of Noi Bai airport of 19 million passengers and Da Nang’s 6 million passengers. It is also the largest airport of Vietnam in terms of passengers handled with almost 22 million passengers in 2014, serving Ho Chi Minh City as well as the rest of southeastern Vietnam. Its IATA code, SGN, is derived from the city’s former name of Saigon.
a. Domestic terminal
Tan Son Nhat International Airport served 12.4 million passengers in 2008, compared to 11 million in 2007 and 15.5 million passenger in 2010. The airport reached its full capacity of 20 million passengers in 2013, two years earlier than predicted. Both domestic and international terminal were expanded to meet the increasing demand. In December 2014, expansion for the domestic terminal was finished, boosting the terminal’s capacity to 13 million passengers per annum.
b. International terminal
A new international terminal funded by Japanese official development assistance and constructed by a consortium of four Japanese contractors, opened in September 2007 with a capacity for 12 million passengers a year. 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 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 kilometers 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 US$8 billion.
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.