VATM focuses on sustainable development

09:55 | 29/10/2019 Companies

(VEN) - With nearly one million flights each year being secure and safe in its responsibility airspace, the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) has gradually become a reputable business for not only regional nations but also developed countries. VATM General Director Doan Huu Gia discussed the issue with Vietnam Economic News’ Thu Huong.

vatm focuses on sustainable development
Approach and Tower Control Center at the Cam Ranh International Airport

Could you highlight VATM’s outstanding results in 2018?

Over the past 25 years, VATM has accumulated experiences in fields of its operations and has ensured absolute safety for millions of flights.

In 2018, complicated changes in the global economic and political situation, as well as national defense and security, had a certain impact on the regional economy, as well as VATM’s operations. However, the corporation’s leaders provided guidance for its member units to take effective measures to renovate management methods and ensure absolute safety for 100 percent of flights within the airspace under its control. Last year, the number of flights managed by the corporation reached 890,398, equivalent to 104.16 percent of the annual plan. Total revenue from air navigation services reached VND3.851 trillion, and national budget contribution stood at VND3.013 trillion in 2018, equivalent to 110 percent and 122 percent of the annual plan, respectively.

During the previous year, the corporation implemented synchronous solutions related to airspace, airways, air traffic control procedures and air traffic flow management in order to increase its management capacity, ensure flight safety and improve service quality at major airports through the development of new air traffic management procedures and the application of advanced navigation technologies.

At the Cam Ranh International Airport, VATM established an air traffic control unit named Cam Ranh APP/TWR that combines aerodrome control and approach control, helping increase air traffic management capacity for the airport and enabling flexible use of the airspace for civil and military aviation purposes. VATM also furthered the application of the SID/STAR RNP1 procedures at the Phu Bai International Airport besides Noi Bai, Da Nang, Cam Ranh and Tan Son Nhat in order to offer aircraft the optimal trajectory and quickly learn the landing order to prevent congestion. The corporation reduced the minimum separation from five nautical miles to three nautical miles (5NM to 3NM) in Tan Son Nhat terminal airspace in December 2018 and Da Nang terminal airspace in June 2019.

vatm focuses on sustainable development
Air traffic controllers working at Tan Son Nhat Air Traffic Control Tower

VATM signed a contract with MITRE to develop a master plan for air traffic flow management in Vietnam, and continued its cooperation with NAVBLUE in the project to establish a new air traffic management procedure for Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports that helps to increase the capacity of these two major airports and the flow of air traffic connecting the two cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

These solutions have helped increase air traffic management capacity and minimize congestion at major airports, while contributing to meeting the growing demand of the aviation sector.

How has the aviation sector’s hot growth affected VATM? What are the corporation’s solutions?

According to forecasts, the number of flights within Vietnam’s Flight Information Region (FIR) is expected to increase to more than one million per year by 2020, and 1.5 million per year by 2030. To meet the demand, VATM has focused on upgrading technical infrastructure. So far, the corporation operates in 30 provinces and cities nationwide.

VATM currently has two area control centers, four approach control centers, 22 air traffic control towers. The corporation has promoted the application of new technologies in the field of air traffic management.

VATM has also paid special attention to human resource development. Over the years, the corporation has maintained its collaboration with reputable domestic and foreign training organizations, such as the training facility of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Singapore, the training center of Airways New Zealand, the Singapore Aviation Academy and the Vietnam Aviation Academy. The forms of training are flexible with on-the-job training, sending trainees to study abroad and inviting experts to conduct training courses in Vietnam. VATM has continued implementing a project to provide basic training for air traffic controller in Airways New Zealand. These training courses have provided VATM with high-quality human resources, meeting international standards and the corporation’s development needs.

Currently, VATM has 904 air traffic services staff, 230 aeronautical information services (AIS) staff, 186 aeronautical meteorological services (MET) staff, and 1,085 technical staff. Of which, nearly 700 air traffic controllers are directly involved in air traffic management, and all of them have met the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements for English language proficiency at level 4. Those who do not pass the annual examination are taken off the services provision chain.

vatm focuses on sustainable development
Students undertake ATC training in New Zealand, in conjunction with Airways New Zealand and VATM

What are the corporation’s future plans?

VATM aims to improve air traffic control (ATC) capabilities in order to meet the requirements of reliable service quality and ensure absolute safety for 100 percent of flights within the airspace under its control. VATM will be able to provide air navigation services for one million flights per year by 2020, and 1.2-1.5 million flights per year by 2030, double and triple compared to 2010, respectively.

VATM will focus on creating foundations for the corporation’s sustainable development through three pillars - investing in modern facilities, technologies and techniques; training high-quality human resources; and establishing the organizational structure/management model and legal environment in line with Vietnam’s current regulations and requirements for international integration.

Thu Huong