Thailand’s airports are ramping up in preparation for the anticipated 34 million foreign tourists in 2017.
Authorities are projecting these numbers on top of the 150 million domestic travelers.
Several major airports to include Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang International, U-tapao Rayong-Pattaya International, Krabi International, Phuket International and Chaing Rai Mae Fah Luang Internatnional are currently in the middle of renovations to accommodate the influx.
Other smaller airports such as Roi0et, Nakhon Ratchasima and Hua Hin are being called upon to upgrade their statuses to “International” in an effort to get more tourists and foreign airlines. There are also plans from the Transport Ministry to build a new airport in the Yala province.
The Phuket International Airport’s capacity will be raised from 6.5 million passengers per year to 12.5 million following completion of their renovations. The newly renovated airport will serve as the hub that will open southern Thailand to tourism in the coming years.
According to Rear Admiral Worapol Tongpricha, the Director of Rayong U-tapao Pattaya International Airport, a further 400 million baht will be spent this year for the expansion of that facility. 600 million was already spent last year.
The plan is to improve and upgrade all of the facilities systems as well as the runway and taxiway. The U-tapao Airport currently sees 4,000 passengers per day with a maximum of 800,000 per year. Post renovations, the maximum will be over 3 million passengers per year.
U-tapao would also see an increased capacity of approximately 60,000 flights every year.
Chiang Rai’s 6.2 billion baht, three-phase expansion project will be completed in the year 2030.