The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) has set a budget of 4.2 billion baht for the fiscal years 2024-27 to develop an aviation traffic system across 39 airports.
Aerothai aims to upgrade the capacity of airports to be able to handle more flights, ultimately doubling the number to 2 million flights per year by 2037, president Nopasit Chakpitak said on Friday.
The budget will be invested in two major projects. One involves a data backup system costing about 3 billion baht including hardware. The cabinet has approved the project and Aerothai expects to start it in fiscal 2024, which begins on Oct 1. The project is expected to be completed in 2027, he said.
The other project involves an air traffic control tower at U-tapao airport in Rayong, costing 1.2 billion baht. The tower is scheduled to be completed in 2027. The airport will be able to accommodate up to 2 million passengers in 2027, with further development planned to increase annual capacity to 50 million passengers by 2037.
Mr Nopasit said Aerothai is also in talks with the governments of Laos and China to increase flight frequencies. It aims to double the number of flights from China to around 600,000 a year.
If the talks are successful, Aerothai will be able to also double increase its annual revenue from flight services to 6 billion baht in the future.
He said Aerothai will also hold talks with the Royal Thai Navy, the owner of U-tapao, about security and future investments in the airport such as radar and safety systems.
In addition, Aerothai is working on a new metroplex air traffic control plan to accommodate growing air traffic and improve the efficiency and safety at key airports.
The first phase involves restructuring the routes and airspace management of three major airports: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-tapao, he said.
Aerothai also plans to restructure routes and develop airspace management to enhance air traffic management at three international airports in the South: Phuket, Krabi and a new facility to be opened in Phangnga.
The company also plans to implement the metroplex air traffic plan in the North, at Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Lampang airports, he said.