AoT’s Phuket plans look ‘logical’

PHUKET, 30 May 2018: Hotel and tourism consultancy, C9 Hotelworks, calls the decision to build a new “Greater Phuket Airport at a green-field site on the mainland “logical.”

The consultancy’s managing director, Bill Barnett, described it as part of a “broader global trend” that sees the development of more regional airports versus mega projects.

“Airports of Thailand has a plan that will see a second Greater Phuket airport… it has created quite a stir in the tourism sector in one of Southeast Asia’s leading resort markets,” he said in a recent update.

Barnett was one of the first tourism experts to identify the potential site of the new airport two years earlier.

Located in the mainland province of Phang Nga, at Khok Kloi district, the project should be ready by 2025 with construction due to commence in 2019.

Phuket International Airport is already heavily congested even after a terminal expansion. Last year it handled 8.4 million passengers. Barnett says arrivals to the island are forecast to rise to 9.7 million this year.

The new airport project, when completed will give Andaman coast resorts three airports. To the south, Krabi Airport will remain open serving resort destinations as far south as Lanta island and Trang.

The new airport in Phang Nga province would serve both Phuket island and Khao Lak, north of Phuket island. The transfer time to Khao Lak would drop to around one hour.

If Phuket’s current airport remains open its role could change to serving domestic traffic. Or it might close in favour of the new airport project. However, decommissioning Don Mueang Airport after Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport opened proved to be a serious error of judgement at the time, which subsequently came back to haunt  AoT. The same scenario could apply to Phuket by the time the second airport opens in 2025.

For more details see C9 Hotelworks’ Insider News report: