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Phuket Airport Nears Completion News Feed

Phuket Airport Nears Completion

The brand new passenger terminal at Phuket Airport is now approaching completion, with works expected to draw to a close in September this year.

The airport, Thailand’s third-largest, is currently undergoing THB5.14 billion (US$145.6 million) extension, along with major upgrades to the existing facilities and although structural work to the building is now finished, thorough testing of the terminals nine IT systems and carousel equipment is still underway.

Three months have been added to the project schedule so that the Airports of Thailand (AoT) Authority can ensure the new technology and baggage terminals installed throughout the terminal are up to international standards.

Designed to accommodate the greater numbers of visitors flocking to Phuket each year, the new terminal should be ready for occupation in mid-August and full-scale operation is scheduled to begin in September, according to Monrudee Gettuphan, Phuket airport’s general manager.

“There may be some delays, but it’s better to ensure everything is really ready rather than face some hiccups,” said Monrudee. She also emphasised that works will not be delayed beyond September, as all parties involved in the expansion want the new terminal up and running before peak season arrives in November.

The new structure is set to relieve overcrowding in the airport, which thanks to high demand has been handling twice as many passengers as the 6.5 million per year for which it was originally designed. Figures published by Airports Council International showed that Phuket Airport was one of the airports in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region that demonstrated the greatest rise in passenger numbers throughout the first quarter of this year. Phuket’s numbers rose by 18.7% year-on-year to 4.26 million.

The new terminal has added 72,338m2 to the original buildings, and it will now be able to process five million passengers per year. There are also plans in the pipeline to renovate the original terminal, and once this is done there are plans to fully extend the airport. As well as handing an increased number of visitors, the new terminal will also facilitate a smoother and more pleasant visitor experience – particularly when it comes to arrivals. Thanks to the new amenities and increased space, there should be less wait time as passengers wait for their hold luggage to come through on baggage carousels. The queues at immigration are also set to become shorter, as visitors are processed more quickly and can leave the airport swiftly to begin their holiday.

 

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