Phuket Airport to get makeover

2 May 2011

Work on expanding Phuket International Airport is scheduled to begin in November 2011. The project to build a new international passenger service building and renew other facilities was approved by the Thai government in December 2009.

The first phase of the 5.8 billion Baht expansion will see the airport runway, refuelling area, internal roads and car parks renewed. This stage also includes new buildings for the airport fire service, a cargo facility and an Airports of Thailand (AoT) office.    

In July 2012, work on the new international terminal and renewal of the existing domestic terminal is due to begin. The entire expansion project is scheduled to be completed in May 2014.

AoT vice president said that his agency would work closely with natural resources officials to assess and limit the impact on Phuket’s environment by the airport expansion project.

In 2010, Phuket Airport dealt with in excess of seven million passengers, and Phuket tourist officials are hoping that the figure will jump to eight million this year. The ever increasing visitor departures and arrivals are higher than the capacity that the airport was designed for and there are often long queues at baggage carousels and Immigration counters.

Due to booming Thai visitor numbers, long immigration queues have plagued both Phuket and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok at peak times in recent years. Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has already acted at Suvarnabhumi and has increased staff manning levels to try and reduce passenger waiting times. 

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