Officials propose fourth airport for Bangkok area

Bangkok continues to take off as a regional aviation hub with Thai officials proposing that the government build a new airport just west of the city, the fourth in the capital’s aviation ecosystem.

The new airport would be located in Nakhon Pathom province, just 35 miles or about a 45-minute drive from Bangkok. The facility would cost about $650 million, and the first phase would take an estimated four years to build. If the government approves the project, construction will begin in 2023. Hearings on the proposal will take place next month.

When all the proposed phases of the airport are complete, officials said it would be able to handle 25 million passengers a year.

Bangkok is already served by Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang International Airport. A third airport, U-Tapao in Rayong province, is undergoing a massive expansion and upgrade and a light-rail system will eventually link all three airports.

Suvarnabhumi, which opened in 2006 and is undergoing expansion, is straining to handle 70 million passengers a year, having been initially designed to handle 45 million. Don Muang, the first international airport in Thailand, exceeded 40 million passengers in 2018.

U-Tapao is located near the popular beach resort town of Pattaya and is also in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) advanced development zone. It will also be home to a regional maintenance, repair and overhaul center operated by THAI Airways International and Airbus of Europe, and an industrial estate explicitly created for aerospace and aviation.

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