Government authorities have announced that they expect the number of passengers flying in to U-Tapao International Airport also known as Pattaya Airport to double this year and plans are being finalised to invest 200 billion baht to expand the airport as part of the government’s plans for the Eastern Economic Corridor project which is scheduled to begin next year.
In 2017 a total of 1 million passengers arrived via U-Tapao an increase of 300,000 from the year before, with U-Tapao Airport Authority director Admiral Luechai Sri-Eamgool stating on Saturday that they estimate the number of arriving passengers would reach 2 million before the end of 2018.
He said for the first four months of the current fiscal year (Oct to Jan) the number of passenger arrivals had reached roughly 700,000.
Plans are currently being finalised to expand the airports capacity from three million passengers per year to 15 million passengers per year with terms of reference for increased investment expected to be complete by the end of this year.
The investment needed is estimated to total 200 billion baht and the government plans to use public-private partnership to lessen the financial burden on government resources.
A masterplan for the overall expansion of the airport is scheduled to be complete in the early part of 2019 where international bidding for the airport construction will be opened.
It is reported that plans include a new-runway, air-cargo facilities, training centre and an aircraft repair and maintenance centre which would require an additional 6,500 rai of land to see all improvements implemented.
Construction will take an estimated five years to complete and plans to connect the airport with high-speed railway lines to existing Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports are also being finalised according to the secretary-general of the EEC office, Kanit Sangsubhan.
He noted those investing could see a return on their investment after just 15 years.
Kanit said that there are currently 21 industrial parks spanning 23,000 rai of land that have been earmarked for investment under the EEC project.
With U-Tapao just 40 kilometres from Pattaya maybe more and more people visiting Pattaya will begin using the airport over the coming years.
For those looking for a little more information about the airport why not check out our blog.
Source: The Nation
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