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Phuket airport expands, new terminal on the way

Russian arrivals in Phuket
FILE PHOTO: Phuket International Airport

The south of Thailand is about to get a new airport in Phang Nga, maybe 4 years away. In the meantime, Phuket Airport is up for some expansion to try and cope with the recent travel demands.

The director of Phuket Airport says the expansion, including a new terminal, is on the cards, at a cost of 6 billion baht.

Monchai Tanod says the island’s international airport needs to expand, having welcomed 16,000 domestic passengers a day last month, which is 90% of the figures seen pre-pandemic. International arrivals and departures average 22,000 a day, a 7% increase on numbers seen pre-Covid.

Monchai says the new terminal would handle international flights, allowing the airport to expand annual passenger capacity from 12.5 million to 18 million. The airport director adds that he expects the number of people using the airport this year to be equal to or more than the 2019 figure of 18 million.

“If the design is completed this year, the project will be submitted to the National Environment Board for approval. The airport could use an additional international terminal equipped to handle up to 18 million (passengers). It will provide passengers with greater convenience.”

The Bangkok Post reports that construction of the new terminal is expected to begin in 2026, with the project taking around 3 years in total. Six billion baht has been earmarked for the project. The new Andaman Airport, to be built inland of Kok Kloi, is schedule to start work in 2027.

Monchai also added that there is also a long-term plan to build a dedicated terminal to handle seaplanes to visit nearby islands and provinces south of Phuket.

In other tourism related news, on Friday, May 31, welcoming ceremonies were held at the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s offices in Phuket and New Delhi to mark the first direct flight between both locations.

SG89 is operated by Indian carrier Spice Jet, which offers a daily direct flight between Phuket and New Delhi on an Airbus A320, which can carry up to 180 passengers.

Tourism officials say the kingdom can expect to welcome around 2 million Indian visitors this year, generating around 79 billion baht in revenue.

According to Monchai, Indian visitors currently account for the third biggest arrivals at Phuket Airport.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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