Khon Kaen Airport expects 5m passengers per year
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Khon Kaen Airport expects 5m passengers per year

Khon Kaen Airport is expected to handle 5 million passengers a year, starting next month, after its expansion is completed, deputy government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana said on Friday.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expedited airport expansion nationwide in a bid to accommodate the growing number of travellers and consolidate Thailand’s status as a regional hub for aviation and tourism.

Ms Tipanan said the expansion of Khon Kaen airport is part of the eight-year national strategy to improve the Thai transport network, including renovation and construction of parking buildings and passenger terminals under a 2-billion-baht budget cleared by the cabinet in 2017. The car park will be raised from five to seven floors to accommodate up to 1,160 cars.

The work is set to be completed with the two terminal buildings newly connected by the end of the month.

The new building will cover 28,000 square metres (m²), and the existing building will be expanded to 16,500 m².

“That means the airport will be able to handle 2,000 passengers per hour or 5 million per year,” she said.

Khon Kaen Airport’s Facebook page reported passenger volume at the airport last year totalled 1.4 million aboard some 10,000 flights, increases of 150% and 123%, respectively, compared with the same period in 2021.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said a total of 4.66 million people had entered the country in January, with 3.1 million of them passing through Suvarnabhumi Airport.

By far, the most popular method of transit was air (96.52%), followed by sea (1.97%), land (1.20%) and railway (0.31%), Mr Saksayam said.

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