Passenger numbers continued to cement Phuket's future as an international island that requires an international outlook and international standards, if Thailand tourist authorities are wise.
Of the 8.3 million arrivals and departures through the Phuket airport in the first nine months of 2014, 4.7 million were from international flights.
The dip in numbers for September was the fourth negative month in a row.
International arrivals and departures were down by 7.34 percent to 416,502 compared to a dip of 10.66 percent among domestic numbers, with the total for all Phuket passengers in September at 759,129.
The levelling off of figures for Phuket follows a burst of 60 months in which numbers year on year showed a monthly increase - a record five years that will take some matching.
There are those who now believe no effort should be made to generate greater numbers, that Phuket should pay greater attention to quality not quantity, and that a respite is needed from the pressure created by such a sudden surge in popularity.
What's certainly true is that all sense of balance had been lost, with Airports of Thailand especially unaware of the effects of the chase for greater and greater numbers on the delicate balance between nature and ''progress.''
The clearout of private individuals making profit from public beaches and the shorefronts and the brake on taxi and tuk-tuk intimidation has provided a welcome circuit breaker since the military took charge in Thailand on May 22.
Real benefits for future generations of Thais will come if the government now compels future developers of resorts and condominiums in Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga to provide their own water supplies through tanks or lagoons and produce 20 percent of their own power.
The rush to profit from an illusory ''property boom'' will continue long after the arrivals at Phuket International Airport slow unless the environmentally-sensitive government acts sensibly to slow it to an acceptable pace.
Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga will never have a better chance to remove greed from the agenda and replace it with green.
*The airport celebrated its 26th anniversary today with the acting AoT president, Niran Teeranaratsin, flying in to mark the occasion.
He said October 2016 remains the date for completion of the 5.7 billion baht Phuket airport expansion, when the parking will increase from space for 500 cars to space for 1500 cars.