Hanoi International Airport Terminal 2, Vietnam

Boosting Noi Bai Airport's capacity by 10 million passengers a year

  • Aurecon's role: Structural and geotechnical engineering services
  • Architect & Client: Japan Airport Consultants, Inc.

Global engineering consultancy Aurecon provided structural and geotechnical engineering services on the project on Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport’s new Terminal 2, Vietnam’s largest and most modern airport terminal.

In addition to consulting on the terminal building, Aurecon also advised on the apron works, roads, ramps and a number of other smaller ancillary buildings.

One of the biggest challenges in the design was the scale of the terminal. Measuring one kilometre from end to end, the facility comprises a four-story building with two concourses, each around 400 m in length. Total gross floor area of the development is 138 000 m2, while the steel roof covers an impressive 60 000 m2.

To deliver the open plan environment that characterises so many of today’s airport terminals, meant using some very large scale components in the design. For example, the longest continuous trusses measure 175 m end-to-end, while the maximum clear span of the trusses between columns is 48 m. The spacing between the two central primary trusses is 36 m, which is 50 per cent greater than the 24 m spacing which would be more typical in a design such as this.

Tuyen Bui, country manager for Aurecon in Vietnam, said dealing with larger scale airport terminal developments is a growing trend.

“Airport terminals are continuing to grow in size and importance for countries,” he said. “They are the first and last impressions that visitors get of a country. So developers are looking for striking and modern designs while in more practical terms, they want to plan for ever increasing traffic. From an engineering standpoint, that means coming up with a structural design that will stand the test of time without compromising integrity.”

For Noi Bai International Airport’s Terminal 2, Aurecon was on the ground from the design phase through construction, with key members of its design staff based in Ho Chi Minh City and further support — for the steelwork roof structure, elevated road structure and other geotechnical aspects — provided by Aurecon’s offices in Thailand and New Zealand.

With Aurecon’s global talent base plus a comprehensive past project list, one of the advantages it brings to projects is its ability to pull in expertise from different locations as and when needed.

Protecting against damage from earthquakes was one of the central requirements for the design, so Aurecon was responsible for factoring in additional strength for the development, in line with Vietnamese building standard TCVN 375:2006. The client on the project, Airports Corporation of Vietnam, also demanded strict adherence to numerous other building standards including the American Concrete Institute’s ACI standards and Standards Australia’s AS standards.

“There are always special factors to consider in airport terminal designs, such as the higher factors of safety needed for crowded areas” said Tuyen Bui. “But on this project we had to make sure that our design not only satisfied normal requirements but also the additional design factors to protect against seismic activity.”

Noi Bai International Terminal 2 went into full operation at the end of December 2014, serving all international flights to and from Hanoi, boosting the airport’s capacity by 10 million passengers a year.

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