Dong Hoi Airport
|Dong Hoi Airport
Sân bay Đồng Hới
Cảng hàng không Đồng Hới
Vietnam Airlines' Airbus A320 at Dong Hoi Airport
|Owner||Airports Corporation of Vietnam|
|Operator||Airports Corporation of Vietnam|
|Elevation AMSL||59 ft / 18 m|
|Website||Airports Corporation of Vietnam|
|Statistics (2011 (estimated))|
Dong Hoi Airport (IATA: VDH, ICAO: VVDH) (Vietnamese: Cảng hàng không Đồng Hới or Sân bay Đồng Hới) is an airport located in Loc Ninh commune, 6 km north of Đồng Hới city, capital of Quảng Bình Province, in North Central Coast of Vietnam, about 500 km South-east of Hanoi by road. The facilities cover 173 ha, on a sandy area, by the coast of South China Sea. The runway approaches near the seashore and nearly parallel to the Highway 1A. The airport, like all civil airports in Vietnam, is owned and operated by Airports Corporation of Vietnam, a state-owned company under the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam which was founded when three companies operating airports in the north, the middle and the south of Vietnam were merged on February 28, 2012
The airstrip was built unpaved by French colonists in 1930s to serve First Indochina War and was upgraded by North Vietnam as an airbase for Vietnam War. On 30 August 2004, the renovation (actually reconstruction) of this airport began and was scheduled to be completed in 2006  but not until May 2008 was it inaugurated. On May 18, 2008, the airport was officially put into operation with the first commercial flight from Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport.
As of November 2012, this is one of three commercial airports in North Central Coast, the others are Phu Bai International Airport (90 miles (172 km, 107 mi) south of Dong Hoi Airport) in Huế) and Vinh Airport (121 miles (197 km) north of Dong Hoi Airport) in Nghệ An Province. The fourth civil airport in North Central Coast, Sao Vang Airport in Thanh Hóa Province will become operational in January 2013.
The site of the airport was formerly an unpaved airstrip built by the French colonists and used from 1930 to 1954 to launch air raids against Viet Minh forces in the Central of Vietnam and Laotian communist forces Pathet Lao in the Central and Southern Laos during First Indochina War.
In Vietnam War, the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam consolidated the runway surface of the airfield. This airstrip was used by North Vietnam as a transit point for air transport of personnel or cargo to the battlefields in the South Vietnam, especially those along the Ho Chi Minh trail.
However, during Vietnam War, this airstrip was not the base for North Vietnamese air attack on the United States battleships on South China Sea in an air raid known as Battle of Đồng Hới. The North Vietnamese fighters took off from Khe Gat Airfield near Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park instead.
This airstrip was the site Ho Chi Minh landed for his North Vietnamese southernmost visit ever to Quảng Bình during Vietnam War, he landed here at 8:30 am June 16, 1957 and took off back to Hanoi at 5 pm June 17, 1957. It was also the site then North Vietnamese prime minister Pham Van Dong and Cuban president Fidel Castro landed for a visit to the then newly occupied zone by North Vietnam of Quảng Trị in 1972. General Văn Tiến Dũng landed here before entering South Vietnam for direct command of communist forces in the last period of Vietnam War renowned as Ho Chi Minh Campaign in 1975.
After the fall of Saigon, this airfield was controlled by the Vietnam People's Army but used it for military and flood rescue activities on an irregular basis, and the airfield was actually almost abandoned.
In 2003, Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park was listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list. The park contains systems of grottoes and caves, of which Vietnamese and British scientists have so far surveyed 20 with a total length of 70 km. Besides caves and grottoes, Phong Nha has the longest underground rivers, the largest caverns and passageways, the widest and prettiest sand banks, and the most astonishing rock formations in the world. Moreover, Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is rich in biodiversity. At the final conference of the National Council for Cultural Heritage held in Vietnam in 2007, scientists attending the meeting highly praised the scientific documentation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang park. Accordingly, the park is second to no other national parks listed in UNESCO’s world heritage sites as far as biodiversity is concerned. Since Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park was listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, the number of tourists to this park increased significantly, which required air links between this province with other major cities of Vietnam, namely Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The construction of Dong Hoi Airport was started on August 30, 2004 and was scheduled to be completed by the last quarter of 2007. The estimated cost to build the airport is $15 million which was invested by the Northern Aviation Authority of Vietnam, an entity under the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam. The construction schedule of the airport was behind the schedule due to lack of capital from the government. It was scheduled to be completed in February 2008, but there were some pending items (10% of the total work), the deadline was extended. According to the next revised schedule, this airport would be completed and opened in 3rd quarter of 2008. Construction of the facilities achieved completion in May 2008. The Prime Minister of Vietnam signed a decision dated May 15, 2008 to put this airport into operation on May 18, 2008. The first commercial flight originated from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport landed at this airport on May 18, 2008, the official inaugural date of the airport.
Dong Hoi Airport covers 173 ha, has one concrete paved runway (2,400 m x 45 m), ranked 4D according to ICAO, a two-story 4282-square-meter-terminal, 15,000-square-kilometer apron for 2 Airbus A320 and Airbus A321s or equivalent, an air traffic control tower and six check-in counters and security equipment. The airport is capable of handling medium range aircraft like Airbus A320, A321 or equivalent. Expansion plan has been approved by the government of Vietnam to make this airport capable to serve jumbo jets like Boeing 767.
This airport has a designed capability of 300 passengers/peak hour or 500,000 passengers per annum. An instrument landing system and lighting for night flight are being installed, scheduled for completion in 2013. The apron will be expanded in 2014 to add 2 more parking spaces for medium range aircraft.
Airlines and destinations
The airport serves Dong Hoi city, It will serve mainly tourists to beaches in Dong Hoi city and World Natural Heritage of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, the starting point of The Middle World Heritage Road. As of December 2009, Vietnam Airlines is providing non-stop flights linking this airport with Noi Bai International Airport (Ha Noi) and Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City). 
|Vietnam Airlines||Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City |
The timetable for flights is as follows:
|No.||Routes||Flight codes||ETD ||ETA||Date||Aircraft|
|1.||Hanoi - Dong Hoi||VN1591||06:10||07:40||Daily, twice daily on Friday and Sunday||ATR 72|
|2.||Dong Hoi - Ha Noi||VN1590||08:20||10:00||Daily, twice daily on Friday and Sunday||ATR 72|
|3.||Ho Chi Minh City - Dong Hoi||VN1400||10:00||11:35||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday||Airbus A321|
|4.||Dong Hoi – Ho Chi Minh City||VN1401||12:25||14:00||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday||Airbus A321|
- Time display is Vietnam Standard Time (GMT + 7).
- 2008: 104 aircraft movements, 2351 passengers
- 2009: 470 aircraft movements, 22,564 passengers
- 2010: 984 aircraft movements, 49,803 passengers
- 2011: 956 aircraft movements, 68,427 passengers
- 2012: 1104 aircraft movements, 90,000 passengers
- "Cảng hàng không Đồng Hới: Năm 2011 ước đạt 70.000 lượt khách (Dong Hoi Airport will handle estimated more than 70,000 passengers)". quangbinhonline. 2011-10-12.
- Establishment of a new Airports Corporation in Vietnam
- "Khởi công xây dựng sân bay Đồng Hới". Thanh Nien. 2004-08-30.
- "Gov’t to expand Dong Hoi airport". Vietnam News. 2008-05-07.
- "Khai trương cảng hàng không Đồng Hới". Tuoi Tre. 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- Feasibility Study Report approved by the Minister of Transport of Vietnam in 2004
- Analysis of the Battle of Dong Hoi
- "CÁC ĐIỂM DI TÍCH BÁC HỒ VỀ THĂM QUẢNG BÌNH". Quảng Bình Province Government.
- "Điện cho cảng Hàng không Đồng Hới". 2008-05-19.
- "Reflections by the Commander in Chief - THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE". Ministerio de Relaciones Exterires de la República de Cuba.
- "Phong Nha National Park". UNESCO.
- "Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park, world heritage". Vietnamtourism.
- Phong Nha-Ke Bang again proposed for world natural heritage recognition, 17:09' 13/11/2007 (GMT+7), access date: 19 February 2008
- "Tourists flock to Phong Nha-Ke Bang bringing alternative to illegal loggers". Vietnam News. 2004-09-16. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- Quảng Bình province website
- T, T (2007-10-21). "Sân bay Đồng Hới sẽ được đưa vào khai thác trong dịp Tết Nguyên đán 2008". Ministry of Transport (Vietnam). Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- Chau, Thanh (January 16, 2008). "Cần đẩy nhanh tiến độ xây dựng sân bay Ðồng Hới". Ministry of Construction (Vietnam). Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- "Quảng Bình: Mở cảng hàng không Đồng Hới (Quảng Bình: Opening of Dong Hoi Airport)". Lao Động (issue no. 109). 16 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Dong Hoi airport put into use". CPV. 2008-05-19.
- "Dong Hoi airport put into use". Vietnam News. 2008-05-19.
- Airports Corporation of Vietnam Official Website
- Official website of Vietnam Airlines
- "Quang Binh province urged to fully tap its advantages". VietnamNet. 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- "Mở đường bay Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh-Đồng Hới". Tuổi Trẻ. 13 tháng 6 năm 2009. Check date values in:
- Flight Information for Dong Hoi Airport on Quảng Bình Province government's official website
- Flight timetable on Quảng Bình Province government official website
- ETD stands for Estimated Time of Departure, ETA stands for Estimated Time of Arrival
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dong Hoi Airport.|
- Dong Hoi Airport on Airports Corporation of Vietnam, the owner and operator of Vietnam's all civil airports
- Construction begins on new Quảng Bình airport Viet Nam News, September 1, 2004
- Airport & Ground Support Equipment (AGSE) in Vietnam by Le Son (11/25/2005)
- Decision dated 2003-6-12 by the Civil Aviation Agency of Vietnam on the master planning of Dong Hoi Airport (Vietnamese only)