The Thai government has approved plans to spend billions of dollars upgrading and expanding the country’s airports.
The Bangkok Post reported Thailand’s Industry Minister, Uttama Savanayana, as saying that the national plan had been approved by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, and would be funded using public-private partnerships.
In total, the plan calls for THB406 billion (US$11.6bn) to be invested across the country over the next 10 years. This includes the three airports serving the Greater Bangkok region – Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao – plus 10 mid-sized regional hubs and a series of small city airports.
Overall, the country’s annual passenger capacity will more than double from 130 million at present to 277m a decade from now. Suvarnabhumi Airport’s capacity will double from 45m to 90m, Don Mueang will increase from 30m to 40m, and U-Tapao’s capacity will surge from three million to 30m passengers per year.
The 10 regional airports earmarked for development are Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Hat Yai, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chiang Rai, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Khon Kaen, while the small city airports will include Mae Hong Son, Hua Hin, Nakhon Ratchasima, Pattani and Chumphon.