Toulouse, France, November, 2019. Supported by NAVBLUE, the new airspace design at Tân Son Nhat International Airport – Ho Chi Minh’s main airport – entered into service on Thursday 10th October.

For this project, the NAVBLUE team designed new performance-based navigation (PBN) standard instrument departures (SIDs) and standard arrival routes (STARs). NAVBLUE also resectorised the terminal manoeuvring area (TMA) and a sector neighbouring the TMA, in order to improve capacity through shorter and more predictable tracks and through reduced separation (3-5 NM in the TMA, 5-10 NM at the TMA entry) whilst maintaining safety.

PBN approaches will be introduced in December 2019, adding additional predictability and redundancy in case of unavailability of the instrument landing system (ILS).

NAVBLUE conducted extensive training of the air traffic control officers (ATCOs) on site to ensure they could operate the new design and to enable a smooth entry into service. On that day, the NAVBLUE team were on hand to provide guidance to the ATCOs as they began to familiarise themselves with point merge and the new en-route transition.

The project started in December 2016 and will end in 2020 with the introduction of an update to the airspace of N?i Bài International Airport – Hanoi’s main airport – by June that year.

The four key airlines in Vietnam are all mostly Airbus operators, so the cooperation project with the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM, Vietnam’s air navigations service provider), is key to ensuring that safety is maintained and that there is room for growth. Ho Chi Minh – Hanoi is the 7th busiest route in the world and both are the two busiest airports in Vietnam.

“The successful introduction of this new airspace concept of operations was made possible thanks to a cross-functional team, with validation of the concept in a simulation environment and thanks to the active participation of our partners in VATM,” said Florent Lucas, Head of Airspace at NAVBLUE.

“We are pleased to have introduced a modernised airspace for Ho Chi Minh City working with NAVBLUE and we look forward to doing the same for Hanoi,” said Mr. Pham Viet Dung, Chairman of VATM.

As a result of this project, NAVBLUE has been shortlisted for the Air Traffic Management Magazine “ATM Awards for outstanding achievement in 2019” in the “Enabling Technology Award” category (contributions to enhancing capacity and safety).