Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin supports the Airports of Thailand (AOT)’s initiative to construct a second airport in Chiang Mai within a seven-year period to accommodate the escalating number of visitors to the popular northern region.
During the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the Chiang Mai airport, representatives from AOT shared the specifics of the second airport venture.
He was accompanied by Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, Digital Economy and Society Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong, and Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat.
Spokesperson for the government, Chai Wacharonke, revealed that the forthcoming airport is slated to be established on an approximate 11-square-kilometre area in the Ban Thi district, located in the neighbouring province of Lamphun.
This venture aims to amplify Chiang Mai’s ability to manage passenger traffic, increasing from eight million to 20 million visitors annually, with a projected increase in revenue from 2 billion to 3 billion baht each year.
The anticipated investment for this endeavour is around 70 billion baht, with the project’s completion anticipated over a seven-year span. This additional airport is expected to mitigate congestion at the existing Chiang Mai airport, he mentioned.
Mr. Srettha remarked that the proposed seven-year development timeline was reasonable, urging officials to guarantee the timely completion of the new facility.
“The government will do its best to support the project, because having an airport is key to the growth of tourism and logistics, leading to the development of the province”, stated Mr. Srettha.
Furthermore, the AOT disclosed their intentions to prolong the operational hours of the Chiang Mai Airport, facilitating round-the-clock flight services.
The head of the government acknowledged that a 24-hour operational airport would bolster economic progression, while also acknowledging potential environmental and health impacts.
Local residents near the Chiang Mai Airport conveyed their concerns regarding noise disturbance to Mr. Srettha.
The communities from tambon Mae Hia residing in Moo 1, 5, 7, and 10 have intermittently experienced disturbances from low-flying aircraft and express fear regarding potential hazards.
Meanwhile, the AOT emphasized that the noise generated from the airport activities remains within safe limits. Nonetheless, in the event of grievances, the AOT is committed to offering compensation to the impacted individuals.
The AOT intends to facilitate public hearings in regions potentially affected by the expanded hours of airport operations.
Additionally, the prime minister directed the AOT, Immigration Bureau, and other governmental bodies to enhance security protocols, especially during the visa-waiver period extended to tourists from China and Kazakhstan from September 25 to February 29 of the following year.