The Thai government has approved a loan to Laos to pay for Pakse Airport’s second phase development.
Last week, the Thai Cabinet confirmed it would provide Bt184 million in a soft loan at 1.5% interest for 20 years with a five-year grace period.
Italian-Thai Development has been appointed the contractor. It will extend the length and width of the runway; improve parking bays, install approach light beacon and runway lights and renovate the control tower adding floors from three to six.
Pakse Airport underwent an upgrade during 2009 and reopened early 2010. The improvement included a runway extension to 2,400 metres while it was strengthened to accommodate jet aircraft up to B737 and A320s.
The first phase was also funded by the Thai government to the tune of Bt230 million, of which 30% was a direct grant and the balance a low-interest loan.
In a related development, the Thai government also approved a soft loan for a 33 km road that will be built from Phudu checkpoint in Uttaradit province to Paklai district in Xayabouly province in Laos.
The cost of construction is estimated at Bt718 million. It involves a 30-year soft loan at an 1.5% interest, with a 10-year grace period.
The Thai government approved Phudu as a permanent checkpoint in 2009, but it remains a temporary checkpoint opening only on Friday and Saturday as Laos lacks the necessary infrastructure on its side of the border.
Phudu checkpoint is also expected to be upgraded to an international checkpoint before the completion of the Phudu-Paklai road.