Major reconstruction of Phuket International Airport will start in October, the airport’s new deputy director, Sub-Lieutenant Thanee Choochong, told Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha today.
The airport’s redesign should be completed next month, he said at a meeting with the governor at Provincial Hall in Phuket City.
The decision had been made to demolish the staff housing, which should allow the capacity of the airport to be increased from 12.5 million a year to 15 million a year in the six billion baht renovation.
The redesign for the airport had taken three months longer than anticipated because stakeholders – including Immigration and Customs – all wanted to have a say in how the airport could be improved.
Khun Thanee said that the makeover would lift standards at Phuket to match those of Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok. A construction firm had been chosen, he added.
Changes had already begun in the present terminal, with improvements being made to escalators and toilet facilities.
Khun Thanee agreed that more space needed to be allocated so buses could pull up close to the terminal, saving arriving visitors the hardship of hauling bags across the Phuket car park.
He said that the makeover should also reduce the amount of signage in the arrivals hall around carousels that obscured important Customs and Immigration notices.
Airports of Thailand has previously reported that 36 airlines now use Phuket, 31 regular service brands and five charter brands. It’s possible to fly from Phuket to 60 destinations in 23 countries.
The number of passenger arrivals and departures burst through the seven million barrier in 2010 and is expected to nudge eight million this year.