Plans for new airport in northern Thailand set to take off

Plans are underway for a new airport construction in Phayao, a province in northern Thailand. The project, expected to cost approximately 2 billion baht, is part of a broader initiative to transform Phayao into a primary tourist destination. Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, along with his delegates, yesterday, March 18, scouted potential sites within the regions of tambon Don Si Chum and tambon Baan Tham in Dok Kham Tai district.

The mobile Cabinet meeting in the province, scheduled for two days and concluding today, included this airport project on its agenda. The provincial governor, Ratthaphol Naradisorn, and over 500 local inhabitants warmly received the Cabinet ministers.

The proposed Phayao Airport, under the Department of Airports (DoA)’s supervision, would occupy an area of 2,812 rai in Dok Kham Tai district, approximately 1 8kilometres from the city centre. The airport design would feature a 2.5km runway, two taxiways, and a terminal influenced by local Lanna arts, showcasing the province’s identity.

The airport is projected to be fully operational in 2034, accommodating an annual average of 78,000 users until 2037 when it is expected to serve around 94,000 users annually. Currently, the project is in the phase of runway and taxiway design. Simultaneously, an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study is being conducted.

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The 62 year old Thai prime minister emphasised the government’s commitment to making this project a reality, asserting that enhanced connectivity is crucial for promoting tourism in less-visited cities. He assured that the government would carefully weigh the airport’s investment and economic benefits.

In related discussions, Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul led a meeting with the Provincial Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee of the Upper Northern Region, which also addressed the airport project.

Patchaya Jittrapantawee, the Chairperson of Phayao’s Tourism Council, confirmed that local businesses fully support the airport project. They believe it will boost tourism and assist the province in establishing itself as a healthcare hub in the northern region.

Patchaya highlighted Phayao’s potential for developing medical schools and facilities for Thai and Myanmar clients, given the provision of an airport, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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