Published: 4 Feb 2014 at 02.07
Bangkok Post Newspaper section: Business
Phuket gets clearance
Phuket airport’s auxiliary passenger terminal will start operations tomorrow to relieve overcrowding at Thailand’s third-busiest airport.
The opening date of Terminal X was set after tests of systems following the completion of construction, said airport general manager Pratuang Sonkham.
The facility, costing 150 million baht, will be largely used for international passenger check-in, helping to reduce heavy congestion at the main terminal.
Terminal X was built under an expedited programme to offer much-needed extra capacity to cope with rising traffic demand before the airport’s main expansion is completed in May next year.
It is capable of handling 1,000 passengers per hour in its usable area of 1,320 square metres. It is equipped with 10 check-in counters, baggage storage space, a passenger waiting area, an outdoor resting area, a commercial zone and airline offices.
It is located on four rai previously used as a football pitch and was leased from Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd, the navigation service provider.
After checking in, passengers using Terminal X, specifically those on international charter flights, will be transferred by bus to the main terminal for security, immigration formalities and boarding.
Mr Pratuang said Phuket airport’s main expansion, costing more than 5 billion baht, is on track. It will increase the airport’s annual passenger-processing capacity to 12.5 million from 6.5 million.
The expansion’s major components include construction of a new international passenger terminal, improving the existing terminal to serve domestic passengers and adding 10 aprons to raise the total to 25.
Passenger throughput last year was 11.34 million, up 18.87% from 2012.