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Chiang Mai airport given go-ahead to operate 24/7 from Wednesday

PHOTO: Flickr/Gábor Tikos

From Wednesday, Chiang Mai International Airport will operate 24 hours a day. Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit has confirmed the facility has been given the green light to operate around the clock, in a bid to boost tourism and the local economy.

It’s understood that the extended hours are an order from PM Srettha Thavisin and are being put in place to accommodate demand. Tourism operators are expecting an increase in visitor numbers, due to both the year-end peak season and the temporary visa-free entry granted to Chinese and Kazakh tourists.

According to the revised hours policy from Airports of Thailand, the airport will change from operating between 6am and midnight to operating 24 hours a day. The first flight to depart during the extended hours will be a Thai Vietjet flight to Osaka in Japan, which is scheduled to take off from Chiang Mai at 12.30am.

According to Suriya, his ministry has ordered AoT to liaise with airlines to agree appropriate flight routes and schedules, taking the airport’s environmental impact assessment and the needs of nearby residents into account.

Those living near the airport and at risk of noise disruption have been told that a suitable compensation plan is in the works. According to the report, AoT is set to hold a public hearing with local residents affected by the new hours.

The airport currently welcomes around 4,800 visitors a day, on 20 international flights, according to Suriya. He adds that around the clock operations should lead to an increase of around 30% in the number of international passengers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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