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Business: Thailand’s airports to get overhauls

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Business: Thailand’s airports to get overhauls | The Thaiger

PHUKET: As authorities anticipate 34 million foreign-tourist arrivals and 150 million domestic air travellers in 2017, major airports including Phuket International, Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang International, U-tapao Rayong-Pattaya International, Krabi International and Chiang Rai Mae Fah Luang International are undergoing renovations or expansion.

Meanwhile, there have been calls for some small airports upcountry, such as in Roi-et, Nakhon Ratchasima and Hua Hin, to be upgraded to international status in order to attract more foreign airlines and tourists. The Transport Ministry also plans a new airport in Yala Province.

Wandee Tiansawakit, a tourism ‘expert’ and former president of the Professional Tourist Guide Association in Buriram Province, said businesses such as hotels and travel companies wanted the government to make Buri Ram Airport an international facility as well as adding a new cargo terminal.

The province has become a famous sports destination thanks to the success of the Buriram United Football Club. If Buriram Airport could gain international status and a customs office, and have its cargo-handling ability upgraded, it should attract more domestic and foreign airlines into the lower part of the Northeastern region and boost tourism.

The private sector in Nakhon Ratchasima is urging the government to develop its airport as the city is growing.

Representatives from the Department of Airports, which owns Krabi Airport, says it plans to expand capacity to serve the increasing number of flights by low-cost airlines. The airport was originally designed to handle 3 million passengers a year, but the numbers keep rising. The department is also planning a new airport in Yala’s Betong district, and the Transport Ministry has taken responsibility for that plan.

Airports of Thailand (AOT), which operates Phuket International Airport, said the airport’s capacity had been increased from 6.5 million passengers per year to 12.5 million after completion of a new international passenger terminal.

AOT aims to push Phuket International Airport as the new gateway into southern Thailand, particularly the Andaman Coast, covering five provinces – Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga and Trang.

Meanwhile, at Bangkok’s main airport, Suvarnabhumi, Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha visited sites at its second-phase expansion in September and was reassured that annual passenger capacity would be increased from the current 45 million to 60 million by 2019.

Earlier, the AOT announced multi-billion-baht plans for further development at Don Mueang International Airport to serve increasing numbers of tourist arrivals and domestic flights.

Rear Admiral Worapol Tongpricha, director of Rayong U-tapao Pattaya International Airport, said a further 400 million baht would be spent on the drab facility’s expansion after 600 million baht was spent there last year.

The government earlier granted a budget of 800 million baht to build a new passenger terminal at U-tapao in order to meet demand and increasing tourism in the Eastern region. The airport currently accommodates only 4,000 passengers a day, with a maximum capacity of 800,000 passengers per year. Once the new terminal is completed, it should be able to serve up to 3 million passengers per year and increase capacity to 60,000 flights per year.

— The Nation

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Pattaya

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way

Greeley Pulitzer

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Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Heavy rains have caused flooding and beach erosion on Pattaya’s recently reclaimed beach yesterday afternoon. The torrential rain continued for many hours around Central Pattaya. Heavy rains are also expected again today (forecast below).

Many areas ended up flooded causing local traffic hazards and delays. Water flooded down storm drains and onto Pattaya’s beaches and into the sea, literally washing the beach away in some locations.

Tourists and swimmers avoided the water as they saw “an unidentified white substance on the water’s surface”. The white scum appeared to look like some sort of detergent or foam which had washed down the city’s drains.

Last year some 400 million baht was spent re-building some of Pattaya’s beaches which end up damaged and washed out to sea any time there are heavy rains.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25

The Thaiger

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Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | The Thaiger

The State Railway of Thailand and the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium are putting pen to paper and signing the contract for the high-speed train project on October 25.

The much-discussed high speed railway will link Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao international airports. The new SRT board was approved by the Thai cabinet today.

Deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul says he is confident the contract will now be signed, adding that he has already met with Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of the CP group, and assured him of the government’s full cooperation and support.

The Charoen Pokphand-led consortium won the bid to develop the 224-billion baht high-speed train infrastructure as a signature project for the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) high-tech investment hub. The train service is scheduled to be operational in 2024 (The Thaiger is taking bets now).

Recently, however, the CP-led consortium raised concerns over land expropriation and eviction problems and asked for the government to share the risk on this issue. The Transport Ministry has already rejected the request putting the onus on CP as part of the proposal.

Mr. Anutin explained that, in any large infrastructure project involving expropriation of land, it is usual for the government or state agency not to be able to hand over the land to the contractor all at once. In such cases, the contracted completion date can be moved back.

He said the CP-led consortium should proceed with the high-speed train project without further delay because 70% of the land is ready to be handed over.

Meanwhile, the deputy PM admits that he didn’t know why the entire SRT board resigned en masse, delaying the signing of the contract, and denied that he had put pressure on the board to quit. He also denied that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also of the Bhumjaithai party, objected to the SRT board’s mass resignation because the latter wanted the contract to be signed quickly.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | News by The Thaiger

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Pattaya

Toilet break goes wrong when trucks collide in Pattaya, injuring two

May Taylor

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Toilet break goes wrong when trucks collide in Pattaya, injuring two | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Pattaya Update News

The driver of a ten-wheeler truck got more than he bargained for after stopping for a toilet break at the side of the road in Pattaya.

Pattaya Update News reports that 57 year old Jirawat parked his truck on the Krathing Rai-Rayong road at about 1.30am over the weekend. While he was away from his vehicle, attending to business, a six-wheeler truck ploughed into the back of his truck.

The driver of the six-wheeler, 42 year old Suthin, suffered head injuries, while his 45 year old wife passenger, Netchanok, sustained a leg injury. Both occupants of the truck had to be cut free by rescue workers before being rushed to hospital.

Meanwhile, Jirawat says the sound of the crash startled him, causing him to fall over and urinate on himself. Returning to his vehicle, he alerted the authorities. It’s unclear what, if any, action will be taken by police against either of the drivers.

SOURCE: Pattaya Update News | ThaiVisa

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