The news broke this afternoon as the order was posted by the PhuketAnti-COVID19 Facebook page, the official Facebook account for the Phuket Provincial Government to disseminate information regarding the COVID-19 situation in its capacity as an office of the Ministry of Interior.
CAAT followed soon after with its own announcement.
According to the order, Phuket airport will be allowed to reopen from 00:01 June 13.
The order allows Phuket airport to reopen to receive domestic flights as long as the health guidelines already set out by CAAT are followed.
While Phuket airport will be allowed to operate domestic flights after midnight tonight, the ban on all inbound international passenger flights from entering Thailand remains in effect until June 30.
Phuket International Airport General Manager Thanee Chuangchoo confirmed to The Phuket News this afternoon, “Phuket International Airport will reopen after midnight, which technically means on June 13.
“I am surprised about the CAAT notice today. Finally we can reopen. We are ready. We have had to wait a long time for this,” Mr Thanee said with a happy voice.
"I am not sure which airlines will provide flights at the airport tomorrow because they had planned to fly on June 16,” Mr Thanee added.
“But if they can find an airplane, pilot and book a flight slot, they can do it because the airport will be open.” he said.
“Next, we will talk more about the details about reopening this evening,” he added.
“Passengers and airlines will need to follow safety conditions, including all travellers will have to register their travel through the airport with the AOT Airports application,” Mr Thanee said.
The CAAT order issued today simply added Phuket International Airport to the list of airports in Thailand already allowed to operate limited domestic flights and specially authorised international flights, namely flights organised by embassies to repatriate tourists stranded in Thailand. Of note, Phuket airport has been operating specially authorised flights to fly stranded tourists home all throughout the lockdown.
Currently, the airports that are allowed to operate domestic flights only are as listed as: Khon Kaen, Chumphon, Tak, Trat Trang, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Buri Ram, Pai, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phrae, Mae Sot, Mae Hong Son, Ranong, Roi Et, Loei Lampang, Sakon Nakhon, Sukhothai, Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchathani.
Airports that are allowed to operate domestic flights and specially authorised international flights are now listed as Phuket International Airport, Krabi International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport, Samui International Airport, Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Don Mueang International Airport, Surat Thani International Airport, Hat Yai International Airport , Hua Hin Airport and U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport.