Thai authorities defend deserted new vacant terminal building at Phetchabun Airport
The Department of Airports responded to social media complaints on Thursday over the new vacant terminal building at Phetchabun Airport, 400 kilometers north of Bangkok. They said the terminal will reopen after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
Earlier this week, the Facebook page, Thailand Infrastructure, questioned why the government opted to build a new terminal building instead of renovating the existing one. The post drew plenty of netizens’ comments that the terminal is a waste of money.
“Why do they keep building abandoned airports?” one user asked. “There is something fishy going on,” another user wrote.
The Phetchabun Airport opened in the year 2000. But it has not operated any commercial flights since late 2018, while construction on the new terminal began in 2019.
“Budget for the renovation of old buildings turned out to be fairly high,” the Department of Airports said in a statement, adding that they expected higher passenger traffic in the future.
The department then set a 40-million-baht budget to form a new open-air terminal to reduce air conditioning maintenance costs and serve more passengers.
When the construction was completed, however, the Covid-19 pandemic had damaged the aviation industry.
“Phetchabun Airport is ready to resume services once the situation returns to normal,” the department’s statement said.
Today, Phetchabun Airport is open for non-commercial charters, such as official flights, training flights, and private flights, the department added.