AIRPORTS of Thailand Plc (AOT) has decided to build second airports at both Chiang Mai and Phuket to meet anticipated passenger growth in the years to come, Thai News Agency reported this morning (May 25).
Prasong Poontaneat, AOT’s chairman, said the board agreed at its meeting yesterday to build second airports at these two key tourist destinations with this being part of a master plan to develop 6 airports to accommodate air traffic growth.
AOT estimates that by 2038 Chiang Mai airport will be receiving 23.33 million passengers, with 137,790 flights landing, but the master plan developed to its full potential would only allow it to accommodate 20 million passengers by 2025.
Meanwhile it is expected that Phuket will be getting around 42.42 million passengers, with 211,150 flights landing, by 2038. However, the master plan only allows for expansion to a capacity of 18 million passengers by 2022.
The current 2 airports cannot be expanded further because of space limitation, Prasong added.
After carefully selecting suitable locations for Chiang Mai’s and Phuket’s second airports, AOT has chosen a plot that lies between Chiang Mai’s San Kamphaeng district and Lamphun’s Ban Thi district for the new northern airport.
Meanwhile Phuket’s second airport will in fact be in adjacent Phang Nga province’s Khok Kloi district.
AOT expects that the cost of build both airports will be around 126 billion baht.
The AOT board has also agreed in principal to set up an export Certify Hub at Suvarnabhumi Airpot and establish a joint venture to operate it.
Top: A plane getting ready to land at Phuket airport. Photo: Andy Mitchell (CC-BY-SA-2.0)