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Expansion plans for Phuket Airport progress to design stage

PHOTO: Phuket Airport, circa 2006 - Wikimedia

A proposal to expand Phuket International Airport is moving ahead, with plans now in the design phase, according to Airports of Thailand. AoT president Kerati Kijmanawat says the project. These expansions, to accommodate more tourists in the upcoming high season, was the main focus of PM Srettha Thavisin’s recent visit. The reported cost is around 6 billion baht.

“The plan is now in the design and development phase, which will take at least a year. The work is expected to cost at least 6 billion baht and will be fully operational in 2027.”

The Bangkok Post reports that during the PM’s recent meeting with AoT representatives, talks also centred around a potential new airport in neighbouring Phang Nga and the transfer of Krabi Airport from the Department of Airports.

For now, the plans for Phuket International Airport include expanding the international terminal, doubling its capacity to 12 million passengers a year. Coupled with the domestic terminal’s capacity, this will give the airport a maximum capacity of 18 million passengers a year.

According to Kerati, the expansion is now a matter of urgent priority, as passenger numbers continue to rise following the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monchai Tanode, the airport’s general manager, says passenger numbers this high season are expected to be around 90% of 2019’s figure of 18 million. By the end of the year, the airport expects to be welcoming up to 50,000 travellers on 310 – 320 flights a day.

The airport boss says he’s hopeful the government’s plans to waive visa fees will give a much-needed boost to arrivals from China.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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