The Ministry of Transport has indicated that it will transfer the management of three provincial airports to Airports of Thailand (AOT) next month.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said the three airports – in the provinces of Krabi, Udon Thani and Buri Ram – are currently being run by the Department of Airports (DoA).
According to the minister, the government has resolved to transfer management of the airports to AOT. The move comes after his ministry determined that AOT can assist in expanding their capacities and transforming them into regional air transport hubs capable of handling additional tourists.
The ministry reached its decision after consulting with the two airport administrations and the Treasury Department, which owns the property on which the three airports are located.
The move will also see the three airports upgraded from local to regional and, eventually, secondary hub status.
In 2017 Krabi airport handled 4,339,599 passenger arrivals and departure. In 2018, the airport was allocated 6.6 billion baht to build a third terminal, renovate the existing two terminals and car park, and expand aircraft parking bays and associated electrical power infrastructure.
In 2019, the Department of Airports announced a project to double Krabi airport’s capacity to eight million passengers per year. It also announced a 700 million baht second passenger terminal will be built at Buriram airport.
It will increase the airport’s capacity from 750,000 per year to 1.7 million. There will be an extension on the length of the runway to accommodate larger aircraft in the future
Additionally, it is expected to alleviate air traffic congestion in the skies above the capital. It also aims to enhance Thailand’s aviation competitiveness and bring the Kingdom closer to becoming an aviation center.
AOT will assume management duties next month. According to the ministry’s action plan, the Krabi and Udon Thani airports will officially open in August, while Buri Ram Airport will make its official debut in September.