The centre of attention is once more back at the Chiang Mai airport. The expansion has long been discusses but because of the inaction as well as the vague state policies, it is yet to commence. With the continued increase in the arrivals, such as tourists staying at a private boutique resort in Chiang Mai, the government is forced to take action once more.
This decision has been agreed upon by the Airports of Thailand Plc which is run by the state, the authorities as well as the policymakers. They are now eager to solve the issue of the congestion at the airport and the fact that congestion in the northern city is undeniable thus action is needed.
The issues are already on top of the priorities because the airport of Chiang Mai is experiencing too much congestion from arrivals. This will not get any better because the current facility is not designed to handle the amount of traffic it currently manages and the number is only increasing.
For the past year until the 30th of September, around 9.97 million passengers have passed through the Chiang Mai airport. This number has increased by 8.3 per cent when looking at the year-on-year. The figure is higher compared to the designed annual capacity of the facility which is only at 8 million.
The private sector was hoping that the details for the next phase of the development of the Chiang Mai airport will be discussed during the mobile cabinet meeting which took place at Sukhothai province but they were disappointed.
They were able to discuss during the meeting the two major issues regarding the infrastructure of the airport. First, they are asking if the airport in Chiang Mai will see its long term expansion project being implemented and second, they are asking if it possible to construct another airport that is within the city’s 20 kilometre range.
The board of directors of the AoT addressed the second question by saying that at the beginning of the year they are going to conduct inspection on two possible location of a new airport facility. The locations in mind are Chiang Mai’s Saraphi district and the Lamphun province. The public are hoping, especially those who have future bookings at a private boutique resort in Chiang Mai, a new airport will be available soon or the expansion of the current one will push through.