Phayao airport plans unfold

Phayao airport plans unfold

Locals hope project will boost tourism

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is in the northern province of Phayao on Monday. (Photo: Government House)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is in the northern province of Phayao on Monday. (Photo: Government House)

The government is planning to construct a new airport in Phayao, costing around two billion baht, as part of a wider plan to turn the northern province into a main tourist destination.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and his delegates on Monday toured areas in tambon Don Si Chum and tambon Baan Tham in Dok Kham Tai district to discuss the planned airport project, which was put on the agenda of the two-day mobile cabinet meeting in the province, which ends on Tuesday.

Ratthaphol Naradisorn, the provincial governor and more than 500 local residents were on hand to welcome the cabinet ministers.

The Phayao airport project occupies an area of 2,812 rai in Dok Kham Tai district, and it is about 18km from the city centre.

The planned airport will come under the supervision of the Department of Airports (DoA).

The proposed airport will have a 2.5km runway and two taxiways. The terminal design is expected to incorporate the local Lanna arts to display the province's identity, according to a report on the project.

It is likely to be fully operational in 2034 and handle up to 78,000 users on average a year until 2037 when the number is expected to jump to 94,000 per year on average.

The project is now in the process of designing its runways and taxiways, while an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study is also being carried out.

Mr Srettha said that the government pledges to do its best to materialise the project as connectivity needs to boost tourism for less-visited cities.

The government has promised to thoroughly consider the investment and economic benefits of the proposed airport, the premier added.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul led discussions held with the Provincial Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee of the Upper Northern Region, which touched on the airport project.

Patchaya Jittrapantawee, chairman of Phayao's Tourism Council, said businesses in the province have thrown their support behind the airport project, which they believe will help promote tourism and aid the province to become a medical hub in the northern region.

Ms Patchaya said Phayao is one of the provinces that has the potential to develop medical schools and facilities for Thai and Myanmar clients if it is supported by such an airport.

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