Originally scheduled to open in June last year, Betong airport in Yala province will finally open for domestic and commercial flights in April. The delay was due to obvious reasons of the pandemic.
The Director of Narathiwat Airport Ms Duangporn Suvanmanee, also acting as the Director of Betong Airport yesterday inspected the terminal’s readiness ahead of its official opening in April.
Ms Duangporn said Betong airport’s facilities and personnel are now geared up including the runway and landing system which will be tested today by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
Flights for the meantime from Betong airport will first operate on just two regional routes, namely the six-times-a-week Hat Yai – Betong route of the winter schedule starting in October; the flight is expected to operate using an 86-seater ATR turboprop aircraft.
The other route planned is the Phuket – Betong service. However the airline will need to consider passenger loads on the Hat Yai – Betong route first before adding more several domestic flights.
The airport is located 12 km from Betong town centre and had costs 1.9 billion baht for the entire construction. The terminal currently has a 1,800 km runway suitable for the operation of turboprop ATR aircrafts. The runway will be extended in the future to accommodate larger planes.
The passenger terminal, runway, taxiways, and hangars, as well as the airport’s electrical system, security system and CCTV network have been completed. The airport has a capacity to accommodate up to 300,000 passengers per year.