AOT launches Chiang Mai airport expansion to serve 20m passengers in a decade
Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) on Thursday officially launched its 10-year development project of Chiang Mai International Airport, aiming to improve its capacity to serve 20 million passengers per year by 2033.
Executives of AOT and the airport got together in an event at Wintree City Resort in Chiang Mai province on Thursday to announce the project, its objectives and schedule to partners and potential investors.
Leading the seminar session was Sarayuth Jampa, deputy director of Chiang Mai International Airport, who told participants that currently the airport had a maximum capacity of 8 million passengers per year, while the number of passengers before the Covid-19 outbreak showed 11% annual growth.
With over 10 million passengers passing through in 2019, Chiang Mai has become AOT’s fourth largest airport, prompting the authority to draft a development plan to further expand its capacity, he said.
Sarayuth pointed out that the airport saw increase in passenger traffic because of the fierce competition among low-cost domestic airlines, while most of its foreign arrivals were Chinese tourists looking to travel in the Northern region.
During the seminar participants also learned that the AOT had divided the development project of the Chiang Mai airport into two phases: The first phase, running from 2022-2029, will cover the feasibility study and environmental impact assessment of the project, as well as the construction and improvement of facilities.
The construction will take three years from 2026-2029 and the first phase will be ready for public use from 2030 with a capacity of 16.5 million passengers per year.
The second phase of the development will start from 2030 to 2033 and will further expand the airport capacity to 20 million passengers. By 2033 the airport will also be able to accommodate 31 flights per hour with its 38 aircraft bays.
Facilities to be built and/or upgraded include runways and taxiways, an aircraft refuelling facility, domestic and international passenger terminals, office buildings for airport and airline officials, parking areas, roads within airport areas, an electrical substation, and a wastewater treatment facility.
TCMA Consortium, the EIA contractor of the project, also reported progress in the environmental impact study and plans for public hearing sessions.
The consortium assured the public that the two phases of the development project would not expand the airport area to affect nearby communities.
Chiang Mai International Airport is located on 1,605 rai (256 hectares) of land in Suthep subdistrict, about 3km west of Chiang Mai’s downtown area.