Noi Bai International Airport
Noi Bai International Airport (IATA: HAN, ICAO: VVNB) (Vietnamese: Sân bay Quốc tế Nội Bài), the biggest airport in northern Vietnam, serves the capital city Hanoi. The airport is 28 miles (45 km) from the city’s downtown. Travel time by taxi takes between 30 to 45 minutes.
Hanoi city bus services 07 and 17 connect Noi Bai Airport with Hanoi’s city-center. The bus stop is just on the right side of the terminal exit. Traveling by bus costs 5,000 VND (0.3 USD) per person and takes about one hour. However, passengers with oversized luggages are known to be denied boarding. Buses operate from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Airport taxi costs a fixed 250,000 VND (15 USD) for a sedan and toll charges are included in the price. A sign by the taxi stand outside the terminal will show the latest official prices. A taxi to the city-center takes about 40 minutes. Avoid using private drivers with non official taxis: there has been (some scarce) complaints of travelers being brought to desert places and robbed, when using rogue anonymous taxis. Drivers of official taxis always display their license with their photo and name on the taximeter.
There is also the Airport Minibus, which is 30,000 VND (2.0 USD) but only leaves after it is completely filled.
Minibuses and taxis park right in front of the airport exit gate. There are three companies operating several kinds of taxis and minibuses, and they are almost the same in price and service.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Tan Son Nhat International Airport (IATA: SGN, ICAO: VVTS) (Vietnamese: Sân bay Quốc tế Tân Sơn Nhất), 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 Noi Bai International Airport and Danang’s Da Nang 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 11 million passengers per year in 2007, more than a half of that of Vietnam’s all airports), serves 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.
Arriving passengers disembark through jetways, although some flights may be parked away from the terminal and require a short walk to immigration that is located on the upper level. Immigration desks are available for both ASEAN and non-ASEAN residents, who generally must be in possession of a visa prior to arrival, or make advance plans to pick one up in the arrivals area prior to clearing Customs. There are toilet facilities and duty-free shops available in the baggage hall.
A currency exchange desk is located immediately past the Customs desk. There are no facilities for non-passengers to enter the arrivals area and they are limited to meeting passengers outside the terminal. It is here that passengers can pick up taxis, motorcycles or a bus into the city.
The air-conditioned airport bus, service number 152, is the cheapest way into Ho Chi Minh City. It is especially useful for tourists since it passes most of the major hotels along De Tham Street and Dong Khoi Street.
Only passengers are allowed inside the terminal.
Passengers enter the domestic terminal on the lower level where check-in formalities are completed; in the new international terminal departures are on the upper level. Trolleys are not permitted past the security checkpoints, but smaller trolleys are normally available once the checkpoint has been cleared.
International passengers complete passport control formalities and then pass into the departures lounge. The new terminal contains several shops and restaurants, mostly charging Western prices for items, as well as the total of 5 business-class lounges, one of them is operated by Vietnam Airlines and one of them is operated by Star Alliance. Flights are normally called and passengers need to present themselves at the gate for baggage screening and boarding, normally through jetways.
Da Nang International Airport
Da Nang International Airport (IATA: DAD, ICAO: VVDN) (Vietnamese: Sân bay Quốc tế Đà Nẵng) is located in Da Nang of central Vietnam.
Located very near the city center, Danang international airport is one of the three largest in Vietnam after Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai airports and has a total area of 842 hectares of which the civil aviation section is allocated 150 hectares. Built in 1940, the Danang airport currently has 2 modern and well-equipped runways with 3,048 meters long and 45 meters wide of each, capable of handling big crafts such as B747, B767 and A320 landing safely in any weather condition.
According to the ICAO evaluation, the Danang airport could be an alternative transit point on the Europe-Asia Pacific international route as it is located in the Central Asia near the sea with ideal flying level.
Currently, there are more than 30 airlines of 20 countries operating in the Danang air space.
From Danang, there are not only domestic flights to Hanoi, Hochiminh city, Hai Phong, Hue, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Pleiku, ect. but also international ones to Bangkok (Thailand), Hong Kong (China), Vientiane (Laos), Phnompenh (Cambodia), Taipei (Taiwan)…
Currently, only 32 of the 820 hectares of Danang Airport are used by the civil aviation. Because it is a mixed civil-military airport, it is essential to fix the boundaries for using and managing land.
In the future, it is expected to expand the used land area to 150 hectares. By 2004, a new international terminal and service areas for passengers and cargo, will be built and be well-equipped with modern technical and material facilities so that 2.5 million people and 400,000 tons of cargo per year can be handled and flight operation can be guaranteed at any time.
It is also necessary for Danang airport to open more direct international flights and short domestic flights to serve tourism.