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According to the deputy permanent-secretary of the Ministry of Transport Mr Darun Saengchai, also acting director-general of the Department of Airport, plans to make improvements on all 28 airports in the country have been endorsed by the government.
In respond to the improvements he said the Ministry of Transport has been handed the important task of coming up with a viable strategic and practical plan for 2017.
The Ministry of Transport has tasked the Department of Airport with the responsibility of carrying out a study to ascertain the growth in airline passenger traffic at existing national airports so that a comprehensive plan can be created for establishing new airports to accommodate future growth.
As such, he said the government will wish to see the construction of vital new airports that have been approved for 2017 such as Mae Sod airport completed as soon as possible.
A budget of 1 billion baht has been approved for its construction and the airport should become operational in 2019.
Another airport slated to begin construction in 2017 is Betong airport in Yala province for which a budget of 1.65 billion Baht has been approved.
He said if everything goes as planned Betong airport should be completed within 2017.
Following this in 2018, plans will be forwarded to the government to approve a budget of 6.8 billion baht for the refurbishment and improvement of existing airports such as Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Khon Kaen airports.
All these important airports have pressing needs for an expansion of passenger terminals, the construction of new runways and aircraft docking bays to offload and board passengers, he said.
He went on revealing that plans for the improvement of security and safety for all 28 airports which will begin to come on line in 2017 has been approved.
The first to receive these improvements will be Krabi, Udon Thani and Surat Thani airports which will receive a total budget of 720 million baht.
Beginning in 2018, the department will seek approval from the government for the approval of a further budget of 3 billion baht to cover all security needs for all 28 national airports to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
With these improvements in place, he was confident that all of the country’s airports will be able to pass scrutiny from all international civil aviation organizations as early as 2019.