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Expansion plans underway at Thailand’s airports News Feed

Expansion plans underway at Thailand’s airports

The green light has been given for the construction of a passenger jetty at Phuket International Airport. According to the Phuket News, the jetty, which has been granted a THB240 million (US$7.2 million) budget, will allow visitors that arrive on the island by air and travel onwards to their accommodation by boat.

“It will help to reduce traffic [on Phuket’s roads] and solve the problems of airport taxis,” Phuripat Theerakulpisut, director of Phuket Marine Office told the local newspaper. “ [The ferry] will run to an exact schedule and cut journey times, and tourists can enjoy the sea views while travelling to their hotels,” he added.

Although the pier will initially only link the airport with Patong, Phuripat suggested that direct boat services may be offered to Krabi, Phang Nga, Koh Racha and the Phi-Phi islands at some point in the future.

“It will be used by passenger ferries, speed boats, private boats, motor yachts and hydrofoils – each targeting different groups of tourists,” he explained.

The new pier is part of the ongoing expansion of Phuket Airport. A new terminal is expected to be completed in 2015 and other improvements, including refurbishments, a new car park and a new air cargo office will ease the strain on the island’s airport as more visitors flock to the island each year.

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) will be conducted before planning permission can be sought and this will determine when the pier becomes fully operational.

Expansion plans are also underway at a number of other airports in Thailand, including Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang facilities. According to Airports of Thailand (AOT), the airports in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Songkhla are all being expanded to cope with the growing number of travellers arriving in the country.

The second phase of expansion at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main gateway into Thailand, is expected to be completed in 2017. The expansion will increase the airport’s capacity from 45 to 60 million passengers per year.

Meanwhile, a second terminal at Don Mueang Airport is expected to open in the second quarter of this year, with additional plans to improve the domestic terminal and cargo buildings. According to Sqn.Ldr Sit Divari, Chairman of AOT, Don Mueang will be able to serve 30 million passengers per year once refurbishment is complete.







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