Betong airport to open fully next year

Betong airport to open fully next year

Betong airport in Thailand's southernmost province of Yala will open to commercial flights next year, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said yesterday.

The airport, in Betong district, is currently only open to government and chartered flights. The government wants the airport to open fully next year to spur economic growth in the southern provinces.

"We hope the airport will be able to drive the region's tourism industry, especially considering neighbouring Malaysia will reopen its borders in January," he said.

Mr Thanakorn also said the Tourism and Sports Ministry will organise several promotional events to raise the region's profile, including a running event dubbed Amazean Jungle Trail which will be held in Betong on May 7-8 next year.

"The airport's planned opening is in line with the prime minister's policy to boost economic security in the southern border provinces by expanding infrastructure development to elevate people's quality of life," he said.

Owned and operated by the Department of Airports, Betong airport is located on a 921-rai site about 13 kilometres east of downtown Betong in Yala.

The airport has a passenger terminal covering 7,000 square metres, which is capable of handling 300 passengers an hour or about 800,000 people a year.

It has one 1,800-metre runway that can accommodate small, 80-seater turboprops such as the ATR-72 or the Bombardier Q-400.

Local authorities said two additional Covid-19 screening points have been set up in Betong district, ahead of its planned reopening on Dec 1.

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