Transport Minister orders faster completion of Phuket Airport extension

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PHUKET, Dec 27 – Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt ordered the extension of Phuket International Airport to be completed more quickly to serve the anticipated higher number of passengers.

Mr Chadchart visited Phuket International Airport following reports of congestion; reporting an annual flow of 9.1 million passengers while the airport’s designed capacity is only 6.5 million passengers.

Airports of Thailand began construction in October with a budget of Bt5.7 billion (about US$185 million) and the work is expected to be finished in February 2014.

The transport minister said that he ordered AoT to speed up the work as construction is behind schedule. (MCOT online news)

Under the plan, the use of space in passenger terminal, the check-in counter management system, and airport transportation will be improved for greater convenience. An additional emergency plan will be put in place in case of emergency landing as Phuket Airport has only one runway.

Construction of an additional runway is being planned as the number of passengers could reach 20 million per year in the future as the government policy is to increase tourism income to two trillion baht annually.

Under the fiscal year 2012-2014, the airport extension has been initiated and when completed, it will be able to serve 12.5 million passengers per year.