Regional airports to get over $1 billion upgrade

Thailand continues to take off as a regional aviation hub. The country will spend roughly $1.15 billion upgrading regional airports with new terminals, taxiways, and other facilities in 38 provinces and build a new airport in Yala province by 2027.

Department of Airports (DoA) new Director Thawi Kesi-samang called the upgrades an urgent mission he intends to jumpstart and oversee during his tenure. Media reports said the government appointed Thawi because of his strong reputation for achieving performance targets in his previous job at the Department of Highways.

“I want to speed up work as soon as I assume the post,” Thawi said after being briefed on airport development projects by his subordinates. “I plan to conduct bids for the projects starting early next year.”

Investing in regional airports is separate from the massive funds the government is devoting to upgrading and expanding the three major international airports in the greater Bangkok area: Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, and U-Tapao International Airports, which serve as the main gateways to the country.

The government has said it will devote $1.15 billion to the 10-year airport development plan. It will allocate about $890 million for major upgrades at 17 airports between 2019 and 2022. The remainder will be used for further airport development through 2027.

Developing regional airports further cements Thailand’s status as the country with the most extensive infrastructure in the region. The country is also in the process of building high-speed rail lines and expanding other rail lines, as well as upgrading highways and deep-sea ports to ensure that its infrastructure and logistics networks are cutting edge and competitive far into the future.

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