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Print Email Phuket International Airport to begin major renovation in October 2011

June 22, 2011

Work on the THB5.8 billion ($180 million) project for the renovation of Phuket International Airport in Phuket, Thailand is set to begin by October 2011.

The project will enhance the annual capacity of the airport from 12.5 million to 15 million. Refurbishment of the existing airport terminal’s escalators and toilet facilities has already commenced. Work will also involve construction of a new international passenger terminal, transforming the current international terminal into a domestic terminal, a parking garage for catering to the international terminal as well as building more taxiways and 11 parking bays for aircraft.

The airport overhaul will lead to a new cargo building, new roads and upgraded transport systems along with construction of a new airport office and airline offices. In addition, there will be a facelift of car parking lots with a drop in the number of signage displayed in the arrivals hall around carousels.

The project follows the success of the second terminal which was opened in 2009 and increased the airport’s passenger capacity to seven million at a cost of 516 million baht (US$17.2 million).

The expansion plans also include the renovation of the existing domestic terminal which is expected to start in July 2012. The entire project is slated for completion in May 2014.

The new terminal can’t come soon enough for Phuket, as last year the airport reached its maximum capacity of seven million passengers. And experts are predicting that passenger numbers will grow to more than eight million by the end of this year.

Reasons for the growth are lower landing fees for budget airlines than at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and strong growth in the number of tourists visiting Phuket.

In fact, Air Asia recently made Phuket International Airport its regional hub, with direct flights from Vietnam to Phuket, Indonesia to Phuket and Hong Kong to Phuket.

Currently the airport caters for five hundred and thirty seven flights each week, operated by a total of forty four airlines. The majority of flights to Phuket are scheduled services.

Once the new terminal is complete, Phuket International Airport’s passenger capacity will increase to 12.5 million passengers per year.

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