Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has expressed his support for Airports of Thailand (AOT)’s proposal to construct a second airport in Chiang Mai province within seven years, noting that the project will help address rising demand from visitors to the northern tourist province.
AOT provided project details to the prime minister during his Chiang Mai airport visit, accompanied by several high-ranking officials, including Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit, Digital Economy and Society Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong, and Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat.
The new airport is planned to be situated in the Ban Thi district of Lamphun province, covering approximately 11 square kilometers of land. This development is anticipated to increase Chiang Mai’s passenger capacity from eight million to 20 million travelers annually, potentially boosting profits from 2 billion to 3 billion baht per year. The project is estimated to require an investment of 70 billion baht, and it is anticipated to be completed within a seven-year timeframe.
The AOT also informed the prime minister of plans to extend Chiang Mai Airport’s operating hours to provide 24-hour flight services. While the premier acknowledged the potential economic benefits, he also expressed concerns about environmental and health impacts for nearby communities.
Addressing concerns raised recently by locals, AOT affirmed that noise pollution from airport operations will remain within safety standards. The agency added that public hearings in areas affected by the extended airport services will be convened to allow residents to further discuss the project.
The premier also instructed AOT, Immigration Bureau, and relevant state agencies to enhance safety measures during the upcoming free-visa policy for Chinese and Kazakhstan tourists, scheduled to run from the 25 of this month to February 29 next year.