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Phuket airport is going places, says GM Prathuang Somkhom

Phuket Flights Could Rise By 25 percent, Says Phuket Airport GM

Monday, October 8, 2012
PHUKET: Flights to and from Phuket could rise by as much as 25 percent in the next 12 months, Phuket International Airport's General Manager said today.

Wing Commander Prathuang Somkhom was marking the Phuket facility's 24th birthday - coincidentally on the same day as Phuket's new governor arrived through the airport on his 57th birthday.

The Phuket airport had processed 9,161,005 passengers between October 1 last year and the end of September this year, the wing commander said - a new record.

Average flights per month had risen from 4296 in the corresponding period to 4559 in the latest October-September period, he said.

International flights were increasing at a greater rate than domestic flights, he said.

China, Korea, Australia, Europe and the Middle East remained Phuket's prime markets, he said.

The expansion of Phuket airport - due to begin this week - would carry the capacity to 12.5 million passengers.

Five million of those would be international while 7.5 million would be domestic, he said.

That would seem, however, to reverse the present trend in which international flights outnumber domestic flights.

Phuket airport, on schedule to total 9.3 million passenger in the calendar year 2012, can carry a maximum 20 flight per hour, the wing commander said.

As there will still just be a single runway operating once the Phuket expansion is complete in 2015 (or perhaps 2016) the 20 flights per hour figure governs the maximum number of flights Phuket can handle.

However, it's believed that 20 flights per hour is exceptional and could not be maintained around the clock.

A more reasonable figure would be 10 or 12.

The airport statistics record all passengers, both arriving and departing.

Because approximately half the travellers are international and half domestic, the total number of overseas tourists is reckoned to tally about 2.2 million on Phuket in 2012.


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I still don't know why they don't consider moving the airport to some new location just off the island, with rail or monorail links to key destinations on the island & with a rail link to the rest of Thailand. The existing airport is constrained by a single runway which cannot be expanded in any way. On a new site, they could build 2 expanded runways & a completely new terminal building with multistorey car parking. It would also center it for all the other expanding tourist hubs such as Khao Lak, Phang Nga, etc.

Posted by Logic on October 9, 2012 13:53

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