Will tourism and resort development increase in Krabi and Trang due to lack of airport capacity in Phuket?
Travel Daily News reports that Thailand’s airport authorities are looking for alternatives as Phuket International Airport is unable to cope with a traffic of 9.5 million passengers in 2012 when its capacity is just around 6.5 million.
- A new terminal at Phuket will double the airport’s capacity to 12 million passengers a year. However, the project has been delayed and even if opens by 2016 it might already be insufficient.
- Phuket currently welcomes over 2.5 million international travelers a year.
- By comparison, Krabi airport located over 100 km away from Phuket was expanded in 2012, Krabi airport capacity is now reaching over four million passengers a year.
- Krabi airport however remains underused. It only serves flights from Bangkok, Samui, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore while regular charter flights are proposed to China PRC as well as Scandinavia. Krabi airport currently handles over a million passengers a year, which means that only 25% of capacity is used.
- Trang is another airport that the Civil Aviation is now looking at upgrading. It is 200 km away from Phuket. The airport welcomes over 250,000 passengers a year with new flights being added from Bangkok by both AirAsia and Nok Air.
- The department recognises the need to upgrade the airport to accommodate increasing passenger traffic especially by putting larger aircraft in service. Trang is expected to accommodate over 300,000 passengers in 2013.
Airport Locations – Phuket, Krabi, Trang