The Cam Ranh International Airport near Nha Trang resort town opened its second runway to traffic on October 10, the Transport Ministry says.
The runway’s construction had begun in 2015 with a budget of VND1.9 trillion ($82 million), sourced equally from the central and provincial budgets.
The project was divided into two phases, the first of which has been completed and approved by the Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau.
It was supposed to be completed last year, but it was delayed by land acquisition problems.
Local authorities had planned to open the runway to traffic on May 23 this year, but that deadline was missed.
Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan said at the meeting on Wednesday that the launching of the new runway is an urgent task to ensure aviation safety since the first one has deteriorated after over 40 years of use.
The three-kilometer, 45-meter-wide runway can handle wide-body aircraft such as Boeing 777s.
Once the new runway begins operations, the second phase of the project, which includes three airport taxiways, will begin implementation. An aircraft parking area in front of the T2 International Passenger Terminal, originally included in phase 2, has already been completed.
So far, aviation authorities have not revealed any plans to repair the first runway.
The Cam Ranh Airport was built by the U.S. troops to serve military missions during the American War. It became a a civil airport in 2004, and was upgraded to an international airport in 2009.
Currently, the airport’s international terminal has an annual capacity of 1.5 million passengers.
Vietnam’s aviation industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The country served 106 million air passengers this year, up 12.9 percent from last year. The tourism boom that the country is experiencing has seen new airports being built and existing ones upgraded.
The country’s aviation industry served more than 56.8 million air passengers in the first half of this year, up 8.4 percent from a year ago, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.