Thailand’s U-Tapao airport to be upgraded

Thailand's Transport Ministry is proposing a plan to upgrade U-Tapao International Airport as a regional hub for commercial airlines. Located southeast of Bangkok, near Sattahip on the Gulf of Thailand, U-Tapao International Airport is a joint-civil-military public airport and currently, in addition to serving as the U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, the airport also is a hub for Bangkok Airways, which operates domestic flights between Samui and Pattaya. U-Tapao is also a 45-minute drive from the popular Thai beach resort of Pattaya.


Thailand’s U-Tapao airport to be upgraded


Thailand’s Transport Ministry is proposing a plan to upgrade U-Tapao International Airport as a regional hub for commercial airlines. Located southeast of Bangkok, near Sattahip on the Gulf of Thailand, U-Tapao International Airport is a joint-civil-military public airport and currently, in addition to serving as the U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, the airport also is a hub for Bangkok Airways, which operates domestic flights between Samui and Pattaya. U-Tapao is also a 45-minute drive from the popular Thai beach resort of Pattaya.

According to the Bangkok Post, Thai Transport deputy permanent secretary, Woradej Harnprasert, says the Thai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and Royal Thai Navy (Bangkok Don Mueang) have given their blessing to the plan which will see a new passenger terminal being built boosting passenger capacity from the current 100,000 to three million by next year, along with three passenger boarding bridges and a 3,500 metre runway. 

Aside from Bangkok Airways, Utapao sees charter traffic from the likes of China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL), Korean Air and UTair during the winter high season.