PHANG NGA: The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) will request a budget of 1.3 billion baht from the new Cabinet to fund construction of a domestic airport in Phang Nga province.
Plans have already been drawn up for the construction of an airport that would cover 1,400 rai on Koh Kho Khao, a 45,000-rai island in Takuapa district.
The 1.3-million-baht would cover both the cost of the airport and a connecting bridge to the mainland.
The DCA will submit plans, along with the results of public opinion surveys, to the government.
The results of several public surveys showing support for the airport have already been returned to the DCA, allowing funding to now be sought, Chief of Phang Nga Governor’s Office Sakon Chaowananont told the Gazette on Monday.
About 84% of those surveyed were in support of the DCA’s plans, said K. Sakon, although he was unable to say how many people were surveyed, stating that the most recent survey was a questionnaire given to 300 randomly-selected residents in Phang Nga province.
The remaining 16% of those surveyed did not necessarily oppose the project, but noted that if an airport were to be built in the area, it should be designed to handle large airliners, such as Boeing 747s, added K. Sakon.
With the current plans, the airport would be able to accommodate airliners as large as Boeing 737s.
Although the airport would not make travel to Phang Nga Town any more convenient than traveling there from Phuket International Airport (PIA), it would serve tourists visiting Khao Lak, Takuapa and Kuraburi districts, and the Surin and the Similan islands, offering an alternative to PIA, K. Sakon explained.
He added that he hopes the Cabinet will approve the budget as part of Thailand’s development plan to support tourism growth in the Andaman region.
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