Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is set to visit U-Tapao airport in Rayong today, where a second terminal is getting ready to open as part of the government’s plan to turn the airport into a third key choice for airlines.
Chan-o-cha will inspect the facilities and meet key people from the public and private sectors, according to a spokesman.
The new terminal will raise airport capacity from 800,000 to 3 million people each year, and opens later in 2016.
In April, the airport’s director Rear Adm Worapol Tongpricha said the terminal, which cost 620 million Baht, is the heart of a three year development which started last year.
In combination with the first terminal, annual passenger capacity will increase and also allow further upgrades in future. In phase two, its capacity will be boosted to 5 million people.
U-Tapao is seen as key to a stronger aviation industry in Thailand, due to the growth in budget airlines putting pressure on Don Meuang and Suvarnabhumi airports.
The government wants it to be a third option for airlines trying to avoid Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports and also be an “emergency airport” if the other two airports face problems.
In the long term, an Airport Rail Link extension will be built, linking Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports.
SOURCE: Aviation Pros.