Thai PM announces feasibility study for Samui Airport expansion –

Picture courtesy Of Thai,News

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced yesterday That a feasibility study for the expansion Of Samui Airport Is currently being conducted. The proposed expansion aims to accommodate larger aircraft And an increasing Number Of visitors.

PM Srettha, accompanied by Tourism And Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol And Deputy Agriculture Minister Chaiya Promma, conducted an official visit to the airport as part Of a government trip to Koh Samui, Surat Thani And Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Currently, Samui Airport, equipped With a single runway Of 2.1 kilometres In length And 45 metres In width, Can support small aircraft like the Airbus A319, Which Has a capacity Of about 120 passengers. The airport Has an annual capacity to handle six million passengers.

The feasibility study, expected to conclude at the beginning Of next year, Is a response to the increasing passenger traffic. The 62 year old Thai prime minister stated That Bangkok Airways, the airport’s owner, Is In the process Of acquiring More land for the expansion.

This would allow the airport to accommodate larger aircraft, such as the Airbus 320, And cater to the growing tourist traffic to the island, said the Thai PM.

This Is good News for the locals.”

Utility plans

The Bangkok-born PM also revealed That he Had instructed local authorities to devise public utility plans to support the expected increase In visitors following the airport’s expansion.

Sudawan, meanwhile, held discussions With the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association And local business operators to push for More tourism on the island. The government’s objective Is to promote the island as one Of Thailand’s top destinations for foreign visitors, thus increasing income for the locals.

Sudawan revealed That the Tourism Authority Of Thailand (TAT) Is adopting a different approach to promote the southern island, focusing on gastronomy And the local way Of Life. During the discussions, the association proposed That the ministry collaborate With the Labour Ministry for job training schemes to improve local skills In the hospitality industry.

Sudawan also commented on the proposed cruise terminal project, stating its success could lead to an increase In the Number Of cruise ships stopping In Thailand, especially those sailing from Singapore to Hong Kong. This could potentially increase high-end visitors.

From January to April 7, approximately 100 cruise ships stopped In Thailand, carrying 214,097 passengers And 92,745 crew members.

The top five nationalities Of visitors were from the United Kingdom, the United States, Malaysia, Germany And Singapore. The proposal for the cruise terminal Is expected to be completed And presented for cabinet approval by the end Of This year, reported Bangkok Post.

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