The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) plans to invest a billion baht in upgrading the old and constructing new regional airports under its supervision, as part of its preparation for the expansion of domestic routes after the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community next year. In particular, Mr. Seree Jitsopha, Deputy Director General of the DCA, said his agency would develop Mae Sod Airport as a gateway between the kingdom and neighbouring Myanmar, saying the airport’s runway would be expanded from 1,600 metres to 2,100 metres.
He said the DCA would spend 200 million baht to acquire land to build the airport’s temporary passenger lounge, boosting the capacity from 150 passengers to 250 passengers per hour. Mr. Seree said next year the DCA would request another 320 million baht budget to construct a permanent lounge, enabling the Mae Sod Airport to receive a total of 350 passengers per hour.
The airport is currently welcoming 100,000 travellers annually, and handling 10 flights daily. He said the DCA also plans to invest 225 million baht to expand Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport, doubling the airport’s capacity to handle aircraft from the current 3 to 6. The Deputy Director General, reports that the department has also purchased 920 rai of land worth 250 million baht as it plans to construct an airport in Betong District of Yala Province, adding that the passenger terminal would be erected and the runway developed once it receives the necessary budget next year.
The department expects 100,000 passengers would visit the airport per year.