Airbus ‘interested’ in building maintenance-repair centres at 3 Thai airports
Nakhon Ratchasima, Surat Thani and Phitsanulok airports will be upgraded with Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) centres for aircraft under a public-private partnership project, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Monday.
Saksayam said he has ordered the Department of Airports (DoA), which operates the three northern airports, to conduct feasibility studies for the MRO centres. The project aims to boost revenue from provincial airports and establish Thailand as a regional aircraft-maintenance hub.
The pilot MRO centres in three provinces will be financed by the ministry’s fiscal 2023 budget plus investment from private partners. European aerospace giant Airbus is among several investors, both foreign and Thai, who have expressed interest Saksayam said.
“In 2024, we will start feasibility studies for more MRO centres at Mukdahan, Bueng Kan and Satun airports,” he said. “The new MRO centres will meet high demand for aircraft repair and maintenance services, providing continuous revenue for the Department of Airports,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is evaluating the assets of three other provincial airports – Udon Thani, Buri Ram and Krabi – before their transfer from the DoA to Airports of Thailand (AOT). All three have been earmarked for a 9-billion-baht upgrade under the AOT to meet passenger demands.
Saksayam expects to propose this project for Cabinet approval in the first quarter of 2023.
“Transferring the three airports to AOT will improve the efficiency in airport management and maximise revenue, which will result in a bigger profit share for DoA,” he said.