Plans are underway to transform sleepy Hua Hin into a busy international and domestic tourism hub.
The transport ministry has approved ideas to build a new airport terminal, more than double the number of planes that can land, extend the runway, and treble the number of passengers the airport can handle.
The moves come after a local politician presented tourism and economic stimulus requests to the governor of Prajuab Khiri Khan province.
These requests included upgrading the airport into a fully international facility.
Yesterday the Deputy Transport Minister Athirat Rattanaset came to the city that lies about 220 kms south of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand coast.
He was met by everybody who is anybody in the city including the Hua Hin district chief, the provincial head of police, municipal leaders, the airport director and local politicians driving change.
The minister outlined the current capacity of the airport and plans that are being made by the Department of Airports to upgrade the facility between next year and expected completion in 2022.
The parking area for planes will be dramatically expanded from its present 160m x 80m area. At present two B 737s can park – when the improvements are done it will have the capacity to park five B 737s at any one time.
A new terminal will be built. The present structure can handle only 300 passenger an hour – this will be trebled to 900 passengers per hour.
The deputy minister said that if the plans become a reality the airport will be able to handle many more flights and develop into both a major domestic and international tourism facility.
The visit comes after a former Palang Pracharat party candidate presented proposals to the governor of Prajuab Khiri Khan to stimulate tourism and the economy in the province. Center to this was designating Hua Hin airport as a fully international one.
At present there is just one flight a day, four times a week between Hua Hin and Malaysia.
Thaivisa notes that the moves are likely to be part of measures to develop the whole area from Hua Hin south to Chumphon as the “Thai Riviera” – an alternative to more established tourist areas like Phuket in the south and Pattaya on the Eastern Seaboard.
Source: 77kaoded & ThaiVisa