Thailand’s vision for aviation resurgence includes private jet mid-sea airport

Thai Airways Phuket Airport
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The Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has set out plans to revive Thailand’s aviation industry and put the country back on the map as a key aviation hub in the Asia-Pacific region. 

During a high-profile announcement on March 1, 2024, Srettha Thavisin introduced ‘Thailand Vision’ which will see improve the country’s airports and increase passenger capacity. 

In a speech, Thavisin unveiled plans to restore Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport’s (BKL) status as a top 20 global airport within five years. 

Suvarnabhumi Airport’s expansion plans will include increasing capacity to 150 million passengers a year by 2030, expanding the terminals and adding a new facility to accommodate 90 million more customers and adding a fourth runway on top of the third one due to open in 2024. 

The Thai Prime Minister said that with a fourth runway the airport could handle up to 120 flights per hour. 

Thailand Vision also includes transforming Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), Bangkok, into a point-to-point model, increasing capacity from 30 million to 50 million passengers annually by 2030.   

In the tourist hotspot of Phuket, the government plans to construct Andaman Airport as a second hub to serve tourists and expand Phuket International Airport (HKT) to process 18 million passengers by 2030. 

Plans have also been laid out to construct a mid-sea airport at the beach destination of Hua Hin for those travelling on private jets. 

The airport, which is already being planned, would link Koh Samui, Koh Chang, and Hua Hin, three of Thailand’s most stunning spots.  

Other plans revealed included building “Lanna Airport”, which would become a second international airport in Chiang Mai. 

The Thai government also wants to improve service technologies for passengers in airports across the country.  

Collaboration with airlines, tourism agencies, and hotels will also be strengthened to collectively develop the Thai aviation sector, optimizing flight schedules, aircraft types, and passenger services. 

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