Thailand’s Transport Minister, Suriya Jungrungreangkit, is requesting a budget of 148 billion baht to upgrade Phuket’s infrastructure, including building a second airport in nearby Phang Nga. With PM Srettha Thavisin visiting the island today, the government is on a drive to boost tourism and transform Phuket into a regional tourism hub.
Suriya’s ministry is proposing a number of infrastructure projects aimed at improving land and air transport for visitors to Phuket, as well as improving the island’s capacity for investment, economy, trade and national security.
The projects are ambitious and include highways across the island, highway extensions, overpasses and the much-discussed second airport.
The second airport, named the Andaman International Airport, would be located just west of the Kok Kloi township, about 15 minutes north of Sarasin Bridge in Phang Nga province.It’s been estimated to cost 70 billion baht and the PM has already said he wants it open by 2027.
According to Suriya, if the budget is distributed in the 2024 fiscal year, some highway projects could be complete by 2026, offering improved land transport to the island for locals and tourists.
Meanwhile, Phuket’s deputy governor says local officials and representatives of Phuket’s business sector will put a number of requests to the PM during his tour of the island today.
Amnuay Pinsuwan says these will include improving the island’s waste management system, dealing with water shortages, and other environmental issues. The island’s water supply routinely runs close to dry by the end of each hot season, usually in March and April, just before the next rainy season kicks in.
He says improved city planning and safety for both residents and tourists is also a priority. Amnuay adds that local officials are ready to work with the government to advance tourism on the island.
“The government is pushing policies to boost tourism and visa exemptions. I would like to guarantee that Phuket is ready to facilitate such schemes.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post