Thailand’s Chiang Mai airport to double capacity

Chiang Mai airport
Chiang Mai is a centre of traditional handicrafts (David Rogers)

Chiang Mai Airport in northern Thailand is planning to increase its capacity from 8 million to 16.5 million visitors a year, reports the National News Bureau

Vijit Kaewsaitiam, the airport’s director, said a terminal would be built and flights would be doubled to a maximum of 30 an hour. In addition, the airport would be open for longer hours to accommodate international flights, especially from Europe.

The first phase of the terminal construction will take three years to complete, with the terminal expected to be operational by 2029.

Chiang Mai airport
At present, Chiang Mai can accommodate up to 8 million visitors a year (Lerdsuwa/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Chiang Mai is a tourist and resort centre. Phu Ping Palace, the summer home of the Thai royal family, is nearby, and the city is a centre of Thai handicrafts such as silverwork, wood carving, pottery, umbrellas, and lacquerware.

Airports of Thailand, the state-owned company that runs the country’s 10 international airports, is engaged in an ambitious expansion programme.

Airport officials discussed the expansion with newly installed prime minister Srettha Thavisin during his visit to Chiang Mai at the weekend. The premier has made the expansion of the tourism industry one of his government’s priorities. 

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