The international airport on Phuket is crucial in promoting the tourism industry in Thailand. Phuket is an incredibly popular tourist resort and as such in excess of 11 million passengers pass through the gates each year in terms of arrivals and departures.
The airport is the third most utilised airport in the whole of Thailand, coming only after Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 is used to welcome passengers who have arrived on international flights. Terminal 2 is for domestic passengers and the recently opened Terminal X is utilised by chartered airlines.
The airport has undergone significant changes in terms of expansion. Although the renovations to the airport have not yet been completed, it is hoped that all construction work will be finished by mid-2016.
The director of the airport, Prathuang Sornkham has stated that “Originally, completion of the project was scheduled for mid-2015, but a number of difficulties faced by contractors – including heavy monsoon rains – has caused the project to be pushed back to the middle of 2016,”
He went on to say that “The number of visitors to Phuket is growing fast, largely due to the increasing popularity of its resorts and its reputation as a global tourist destination. Passenger numbers are expected to soar to 12.5 million by the end of this year, well over the 6.5-million-a-year capacity the airport was built to handle,”.
Due to the delay it is expected that the 12.5 million capacity that the expansions were intended to assist in accommodating will have been exceeded by the revised completion date of 2016.
The planned expansion includes for a brand new international terminal which is intended to cope with the huge demand placed upon Terminal 1 by the influx of international passengers who come to Phuket each year.
Also included is the refurbishment and improvement of Terminal 2 for domestic passengers, as well as a new car parking area and cargo office.
Also under consideration are a new runway to work alongside the existing runway already in use at the airport, as well as a new rail link between Phuket International and nearby Krabi airport. The latter is assumed to ease congestion in the already busy Phuket.
The airport currently services a number of important international flights from nearby places such as Beijing in China and Singapore, to more far-flung destinations including Moskow, Frankfurt and Perth.
The airport is situated in the north of the island, and is a mere 30 minute drive from Phuket City.
With these exciting expansion plans for Phuket International Airport the number of tourists coming to the island is bound to increase, which in turn will lead to an upturn in local trade and businesses here on Phuket are bound to feel the benefit of this upsurge of visitors.
At the time of writing this post there are currently 37 cities with nonstop flights to Phuket, Thailand (HKT):
Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Thai AirAsia, Thai, Bangkok Airways
Air China, Hainan
Sichuan, Nok Air, China Eastern
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thai AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile
Orient Thai, Sichuan
Dubai – United Arab Emirates
George Town, Malaysia
Beijing Capital, China Eastern
Hat Yai, Thailand
Dragonair, Hong Kong Express, City Airways
Ko Samui, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
China Eastern, Lucky Air
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Seoul, South Korea
Korean Air, Asiana, EASTAR JET
Shanghai Airlines, Junyao, Spring
Shenzhen, China Southern
Silkair, Jetstar, Tigerair
Udon Thani, Thailand
Utapao-Rayong-Pataya International Airport, Thailand
Orient Thai, Beijing Capital