The upgrades, once complete will enable the airport to serve 65,000 passengers each day, Airport General Manager Petch Chancharoen explained last week.
“Phuket International Airport development project used a budget of B 5,146.7 million. The construction was set to be complete by June 2018 to open a total area of 46,000 square meters,” Mr Petch said.
This Wednesday (Feb 14), a 3,000sqm area with 500 seats will open in the International Terminal, Mr Petch explained.
“This is expected to reduce crowds in the area,” Mr Petch said. “And at the end of this month Gates 6 and 7 will open, as so far we have been using only Gates 8, 9 and 10.”
Mr Petch noted that according to airport statistics 65,469 passengers passed through the airport on Jan 29 alone, an increase of 21.43% on Jan 29, 2017.
That same 24 hours saw 363 flights land or take off from the airport, an an increase in air traffic of 14.95% on the same day last year.
“I have urged for the contractors to make sure that the work is completed and that the airport fully operational by June 2018. We understand that the work has caused delays and inconvenience to passengers, while the number of people using the airport has continuously increased.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience that has occurred and we are glad to take any criticism to make Phuket International Airport better,” Mr Petch said.
Mr Petch also noted that more CCTV cameras will be installed throughout the airport to boost security, and that stores located within the airport have been asked for cooperation in price control to ensure fairness to consumers.
However, Mr Petch has yet to provide any updates on the arrival of more immigration officers to help reduce queue waiting times during peak periods, in response to some travellers being forced to wait up to three hours to clear immigration only last week. (See story here.)