Connect with us


Airport completion fails again – this time mooted for December

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Completion of construction work on the new international terminal at Phuket Airport has been pushed back to September, admits Airports of Thailand Plc President Nitinai Sirismatthakarn in an exclusive interview with the Phuket Gazette last week.

Mr Nitinai was in Phuket to ‘assess progress’ with the new terminal but could not give a fixed date for the opening.

“We hope to open the new terminal by the end of September at the latest, at least in time for the National Day of the People’s Republic of China on October 1,” said Mr Nitinai.

Mr Nitinai said the delay was due to the need to test all the new systems for at least two months ahead of opening the terminal to ensure that all were working perfectly.

“There are nine computer systems in total that need to be fully operational by the time the terminal opens, such as baggage handling, announcement systems and security systems. Seven of those systems are in place but we are waiting to finalize concessions on two of the less critical ones,” he said.

The biggest challenge will actually be phase three of the expansion, which is the renovation of the existing terminal to become a fully operational domestic terminal.

“Work on renovating the domestic terminal will only begin once the international terminal is complete. Then we will need to partially close the domestic terminal for the renovation while continuing to be fully operational.”

While the new international terminal will increase the airport’s capacity to handle 12.5 million passengers a year, the president admitted that the airport is already dealing with close to that number and it won’t be until completion of phase three that the airport will be ready to handle more.

“Once phase three is complete and the domestic terminal is fully operational, the airport will be able to handle up to 18 million passengers a year.”

Renovation of the domestic terminal is scheduled to take 330 days exactly.

Any further expansion of the domestic terminal building will not be possible due to the limitations of the land on which Phuket Airport is built. The only options remaining for further airport development would be extension into the sea or removal of the surrounding hills, he said.

Asked how the airport will ever solve the now decades-old problem of passengers being ripped off by Phuket’s notorious taxi drivers, Mr Nitinai said a similar approach to that now in place at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport could be used. There, security staff stop taxis that have picked up passengers but still have their red light on, indicating that they have not turned on the meter.

“The mass transit system planned for Phuket [with no completion date as yet] will stop outside the airport so that will be a good alternative to taxis,” he said.

— Nick Davies


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Songkhla beach party sees 61 arrested violating Covid-19 rules

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Dr Boon, THG group must clarify Pfizer deal controversy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Moderna effectiveness drops just 1% in 6 months

Sponsored2 days ago

Tour Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Phuket8 hours ago

Body found in Phuket of Swiss woman presumed murdered

Phuket10 hours ago

TAT touts the Phuket Sandbox first month July successes

Protests12 hours ago

Monarchy supporters claim protesters weaponizing Covid-19

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

5.7% of foreign residents in Thailand have received a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Travel13 hours ago

Top 5 Diving Schools in Koh Samui

Lifestyle13 hours ago

Best Places for Golf in Koh Samui

Crime14 hours ago

Child pornography group run by Suphan Buri couple busted

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok restrictions extended, record high infections | August 5

Thailand14 hours ago

Drugs found inside monk’s pillow at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Thailand16 hours ago

Fairy Sweet Village in Pattaya catches on fire, again

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 20,920 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand17 hours ago

Phuket’s BigGym allegedly closes 2 branches for good, doesn’t reimburse members

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8