Construction on the Eastern Aviation City is ready for takeoff this year after the Government of Thailand gave the green light for work to start on the 290 billion baht (US$8.8bn) project. No official date has been confirmed but work is scheduled to start before June.
The original project was officially signed in June 2020. An agreement was made between the Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand and U-Tapao International Aviation Company. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired the signing ceremony at Government House on Friday, June 19, 2020.
The project originally stuttered because of the Covid-19 pandemic but after over three years of interruptions, work can finally get underway.
The former U-Tapao Airport, from the Vietnam War era, which serves Chon Buri, and Rayong provinces, will be transformed into an international airport in Rayong, linked to Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports via high-speed rail, with a budget terminal.
The 1,040 hectares site will include an airport terminal and facilities for a cargo-free trade zone, aviation training, and aircraft MRO.
Government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana reported that the Eastern Aviation City project, a public-private partnership, will create 15,600 jobs in its first five years and boost the aviation industry. It aims to attract tourists and is expected to handle 60-75 million passengers annually at U-Tapao International Airport.
Simple Flying revealed the global design and consultancy firm One Work’s has been appointed to create the master plan for Eastern Aviation City
The airport will have a Smart Eco Hub Retail and Culture Village to entertain visitors.
In December, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International Public Company signed an MOU to enhance benefits for their passengers, starting with codesharing flights between Singapore and Bangkok.
The project will also create a business development hub 30 kilometres around the airport.
Connecting with Bangkok by sea, road, rail, and air, the project is expected to drive Thailand to become a regional aviation hub and the prime gateway to Asia.
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