28th Nov 2017
The Department of Airports (DOA) has decided to invest 13 billion baht on installing new check-in and baggage-screening systems at three of its airports – Krabi, Udon Thani and Surat Thani, said DOA Director-General Darun Sangchai. These three airports are, according to officials, in dire need of an upgrade.
On Monday, Mr. Darun said that these three airports will be used as models for future renovations and expansions for the other airports managed by the department. The DOA manages 28 airports in Thailand and in 2020; it will open another one in Betong, Yala.
The first phase of this project will cost 8.8 billion baht and according to Mr. Darun will include installing explosive detection systems and new conveyor belt. The second phase will cost 4.2 billion baht and will include the installation of new common-use check-in systems. This will enable any kiosk to accept passengers from any carrier.
Only the airport in Krabi will be equipped with common use systems, while Udon Thani and Surat Thani will use the services of private companies. Mr. Darun said that the department will look to outsource kiosk services to outside companies on 5-year contracts.
He also said that both Udon Thani and Surat Thani are in need of upgrading their passenger terminals and expand runways. He estimated that the upgrade cost would be 5 million for Surat Thani and another 3 million for Udon Thani.
Last week the Department of Airports Director-General said that he will propose that Airports or Thailand (AOT) takes over managing Udon Thani and another smaller airport in Tak province. He said that this move would step up efficiency in these two airports.
AOT operates six airports in Thailand: Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, Phuket, Hat Yai, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
In addition, several private companies are apparently sending out feelers to see if it would be worth investing in airports in Chumphon, Lampang Nakhon Ratchasima and Phetchabun airports.
Mr. Darun said:
Other than servicing several tourist destinations, they still have several rai of free space open for investment. That could be used by private companies as maintenance centers.