It was announced today (Aug 18) that no formal date has yet been set for the opening of the new passenger terminal at Phuket International Airport, however, it was said that the opening will definitely go ahead some time in September.
The announcement was made by Director of Phuket International Airport Mrs Monrudee Gettuphan at a press conference held at Central Festival Phuket together with Vice Governor Khajornkiet Rakpanichmanee.
“No exact date has been set for the opening, but I will have a meeting later today with relevant officials where I am hoping the date will be set. However, I can confirm that it will open in September,” Mrs Monrudee said.
“The new terminal is finished and ready to accommodate 12.5 million passengers a year with five million being from international fights and the remainder from domestic fights.
“Tests started being carried out on Tuesday (Aug 16) and will be complete by Sept 7,” she added.
She then went on to apologise for the power outage within the existing terminal yesterday (Aug 17) which was required so that local electricity authority workers could upgrade high-voltage power lines in the area.
“We apologise for the blackout at the airport yesterday, however it was necessary that the power was cut so that new power lines could be installed. Hopefully this is something that will not occur again,” she said.
“In addition, the new terminal will have its own 1,500amp backup generator so that it will not encounter blackouts,” she added.
Mrs Monrudee then went on to say that all security aspects of the new terminal are complete and that baggage checking system like those used at Suvarnabhumi Airport have been installed.
“The baggage checking systems at the new terminal will be inside the building and not at the entrance like the existing terminal,” she said.
V/Gov Khajornkiet added, “Phuket is a tourist city and last year we had 13 million tourist visit the island. Today, the Airport of Thailand (AoT) Phuket office have said the new airport terminal will open in September.
“It was originally announced that the opening would be in June, but that was not possible because the AoT needed more time to ensure complicated information communication technology and baggage systems at the new terminal were up to scratch,” he said.
“I can confirm that the new terminal will be ready next month and ready to welcome all visitors coming to Phuket,” he added.
Once the new terminal is in full operation, the existing terminal will be completely renovated and turned into a domestic terminal.