PM issues hurry-up to airport link

PM issues hurry-up to airport link

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged all agencies concerned to speed up construction of the high-speed railway project in the hope of attracting more investors to the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The railway project linking Don Mueang airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan and U-Tapao airport in Rayong is one of the key infrastructure projects in the flagship scheme.

Speaking on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting which had discussed ways to alleviate financial burdens caused by high inflation, Gen Prayut insisted that the development of the EEC is key to bringing in revenue to the country and promoting job growth.

Gen Prayut also briefed media on the progress of the Innovation, Digital sub-corridors and the elevation of a smart industrial zone.

With the current trend being for investors to transfer their manufacturing bases to countries that offer more appealing benefits, the government wants the high-speed railway project to be done quickly in order to attract those investors, which will help create jobs for Thai people, he said.

So far, the government has negotiated with the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United States and Japan to promote and bring their manufacturers to Thailand, Gen Prayut said.

Meanwhile, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said the cabinet has already approved a budget of 4.5 billion baht for the extension of Motorway 7 to connect with U-Tapao Airport.

Ms Traisuree said the 1.92-kilometre stretch will accommodate the expected surge in traffic volume caused by U-Tapao Airport's importance to the EEC. It will be promoted as another international airport for commercial flights in 2025 when the rail link finally opens.

The extension will serve the airport's third terminal and will not involve any extra charges for motorists.

It is expected to be completed within three years and will serve up to 22,000 vehicles per day, with the total number of vehicles expected to reach 41,300 by 2054, she said.

Further analysis suggests that the Economic Internal Rate of Return (EIRR) will rise to 14.79%, which is higher than the 12% predicted by the Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council, she said.

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