PM Srettha to expedite U-Tapao International Airport expansion and high-speed railway projects

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, accompanied by Pattaya Mayor Poramet Ngampichet, inspects progress on the commercial development of U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport and key government projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

PATTAYA, Thailand – On June 23, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, accompanied by Minister of Transport Suriya Juangroongruangkit and Deputy Minister of Finance Julapun Amornvivat, visited Chonburi and Rayong provinces, to oversee the commercial development of U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport and review key projects aligned with government policies, particularly those promoting investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

Prime Minister Srettha held a crucial meeting with representatives from the U-Tapao Airport Authority and local administrative organizations. Discussions focused on economic development projects and significant logistics systems, including the high-speed train project connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports. Initially scheduled for completion by the end of 2024, this project has faced delays and has yet to commence.

Prime Minister Srettha discusses economic development projects and the high-speed railway linking the three major airports, including progress in constructing a second runway at U-Tapao International Airport.

Reports indicate that the high-speed train project encountered initial setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, resulting in a severe labour shortage. Additionally, unresolved issues with the Board of Investment (BOI) have further contributed to the delays.

Minister Suriya explained that extensive discussions with the contracting companies have been conducted. A collaborative problem-solving approach is expected to yield results by July, after which construction will proceed according to the revised schedule. Prime Minister Srettha emphasized the necessity of completing the project by 2028, underlining its importance for transportation, investment, and tourism.

Meanwhile, U-Tapao Airport is making progress with constructing an additional runway, a new passenger terminal, cargo areas, an aircraft maintenance centre, and a flight school, all integral to its future development.