AOT temporarily suspends the viability study of Phang Nga airport

A source said on Friday that a study on the viability of Phang Nga airport will only start once Cabinet approves the transfer of Udon Thani, Buri Ram and Krabi airports to AOT.

The transfer is aimed at maximizing the efficiency of business operations and is expected to be given the green light by the Cabinet by December or January.

The airports are currently under the management of the Airports Department of the Ministry of Transport.

AOT originally planned to launch a preliminary feasibility study for an airport in Phang Nga province this year. Some 20 million baht has been allocated for the study, which includes the exploration of 8,000 rai (1,280 hectares) of land in the Takua Thung district of the southern province.

The source said that the Phang Nga project has been put on hold as the proposed location is not too far from Krabi Airport.

“If a study is conducted before Krabi Airport is transferred to AOT, it will become moot if there is a change in the administration policy of Krabi Airport after the change of management,” said said the source. “Therefore, AOT has agreed to postpone the study until the transfer has been approved by Cabinet.”

The source added that once Krabi Airport is transferred to AOT, it will start considering expanding the runway and constructing new terminals for domestic and international passengers. This expansion will most likely affect the number of passengers landing in Phang Nga.

The source said that although no land should be expropriated for Phang Nga Airport as the 8,000 rai belongs to the Treasury Department, people living near the area will be affected by noise pollution. The AOT will compensate those affected in accordance with the Cabinet’s stipulations, the source said.

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