Often considered a quieter alternative to the likes of Pattaya, Phuket or Chiang Mai, the days of Hua Hin being known as a more laid back destination may be about to end.
On Saturday, Thai news site Talk News Online reported the Thai government has approved a huge expansion of Hua Hin Airport that will help to transform the sleepy resort into a genuine international tourist destination to rival other more established destinations in Thailand.
The approved 350 million baht expansion consists of two projects, with 250 million baht being spent to extend the runway in order bring it up to the standards required for large scale international air travel, while 100 million baht will be spent on extending the passenger terminal.
The project should take between 2-3 years to complete and once finished will enable Hua Hin to welcome not only more domestic flights but also international flights from destinations such as mainland China, South Korea, India and Hong Kong, as well as from other locations in ASEAN.
A fully operational international airport will be a huge boost for the economy in Hua Hin and neighbouring Phetchaburi province, officials said.
Under the now approved plans, it is understood the runway at Hua Hin Airport will be expanded by up to 45 metres in order to accommodate larger aircraft.
The parking area for planes will also be expanded. Currently the airport has capacity for two B737s but when the improvements are done it will have the capacity to park five B 737s at any one time.
The airport terminal will also be expanded to handle three times the amount of passengers it can handle currently. The present structure can handle only 300 passengers an hour – this will be trebled to 900 passengers per hour.
The expansion of Hua Hin Airport is a key part of measures to develop the whole area from Hat Chao Sam Ran in Phetchaburi down the coast to Chumphon.
The planned transformation of the coast has been dubbed “Thai Riviera” project – with the aim to the coastline becoming an alternative to more established tourist areas like Phuket in the south and Pattaya on the Eastern Seaboard.
Source: Thaivisa Forum