Construction crews are expected to break ground on the new passenger terminal for U-Tapao-Pattaya International Airport in December, aiming to open a new, modern facility for Pattaya by next summer.
Vice Adm. Surapong Aisayanont, a consultant for the Royal Thai Navy-administered airport, said on Oct. 30 that construction of the 25,200 sq. meter facility should be complete by June.
“The navy has prepared a work plan, equipment and security and prepared a master plan to use to systematically manage U-Tapao,” he said.
Navy officials last year approved the 868 million baht budget to transform the military air field into a modern civilian airport. The expansion calls for not only a new terminal capable of handling 1,500 passengers per hour, but new parking facilities, fuel depot, fire-fighting systems, x-ray machines and improvements to other equipment and landscaping.
About 468 million baht will be used for adjustments and developing the departure and arrival halls and the remainder will be used for purchasing the necessary tools and equipment for the airport.
Surapong said U-Tapao currently handles about 40,000-50,000 passengers. With the expansion, the airport could become the home of flights currently flying out of Bangkok’s old Don Muang International Airport, he predicted.