Construction to expand Phuket International Airport will not be complete until March 2015 at the earliest, Airports of Thailand Vice President Prathuang Sornkhom confirmed today.
”The design of the airport will not be finalised until the middle of this year,” he told Phuketwan. ”The timetable for what can be done depends on the design being finished first.”
Phuket International Airport, built to handle 6.5 million arrivals and departures, is expected to exceed eight million in the calendar year 2011 as visitors endure queues coming and going at peak times.
Concerns are being expressed about how the airport will cope between 2012 and 2015 if the trend to increased arrivals and departures continues to grow at more than 20 percent a year.
Even with completion of the runway extension and a new international terminal in March 2015, relief may not last very long.
Airports of Thailand managing director Flight Lieutenant Anirut Thanombutr said last week that the new Phuket facility is expected to reach its maximum capacity of 12.5 million passengers arriving and departing Phuket in 2018.
No announcement has yet been made about how increased air traffic to Phuket will be managed beyond 2018.
The design of the new terminal is expected to incorporate double-glazed glass viewing areas so those inside can more easily watch Phuket takeoffs and landings.