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Feasibility study for Phang Nga airport to be completed by August

PHOTO: The current Phuket Airport which is staggering under passenger loads

A feasibility study for a “second Phuket airport” (to be located in Phang Nga) is going ahead, according to a Nation Thailand report. Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungruangkit says the study should be completed by August.

The new airport is expected to boost tourism in the region and link Phang Nga with the neighbouring provinces of Phuket and Krabi. It will also take up some of the slack from Phuket Airport which is already overloaded at some times of the day.

According to Airports of Thailand, the new Phang Nga – Andaman International Airport will have capacity for up to 22.5 million tourists a year, easing congestion at the current Phuket International Airport.

The 7,000 rai airport is expected to cost 80 billion baht and will handle (a staggering) 43 flights an hour. The airport is also expected to provide road and rail connections to places like Krabi and Hat Yai (currently passengers would have to travel to Surat Thani and link up with the north-to-south rail lines.

Once the feasibility study is complete, a proposal will be submitted to the Transport Ministry, AoT and the Civil Aviation Authority, before eventually being put forward for Cabinet approval. Prior to final approval, an environmental and health impact assessment will need to be carried out. Construction is expected to begin in 2028 and be completed by 2031.

Whilst a specific location for this new airport has been a bit vague, it’s thought to be in the flat lands behind Kok Kloi.

Nation Thailand reports that AoT is also planning to upgrade and refurbish other airports serving the Andaman region, including Phuket and Krabi airports. Phuket is expected to undergo some renovation (traffic control within the airport grounds and at entrances and exits is mayhem at the moment), while Krabi Airport could potentially be further expanded to increase capacity to 12 million passengers a year.

Meanwhile, a new seaplane service and ferry terminal could be in the pipeline for Phuket Airport. This would allow for a smoother transfer to neighbouring islands and other destinations along both the Gulf and Andaman coasts.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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