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Phuket airport ‘sea taxi’ project deemed not viable

Phuket airport ‘sea taxi’ project deemed not viable

PHUKET: A consortium of four expert consultancies hired to evaluate the proposal of launching a ‘sea taxi’ service from Phuket International Airport down Phuket’s west coast have deemed the project overall as ‘not viable’.

Friday 30 November 2018, 12:45PM


The news was announced at a meeting yesterday (Nov 29). Photo: PR Dept

The news was announced at a meeting yesterday (Nov 29). Photo: PR Dept

The news was delivered at meeting held yesterday (Nov 29) to review the results of the feasibility study, carried out by four companies: Southeast Asia Technology Co Ltd, New Asset Advisory Co Ltd, Aurora Technology and Engineering Consultant Co Ltd, and UPLUS Consultant Co Ltd.

The feasibility study was commissioned by the Marine Department earlier this year after Marine Department Director-General Jirut Wisanjit voiced his support for the project. (See story here.)

The study included economic and social impacts, as well as an Environmental Impact Assessment report.

The short result of the study was that the project over all was ‘not worth investment’.

Among the reasons given is was that the project would require four piers to be built along the west coast, at Phuket Airport, Kamala Beach, Patong Beach and Kata-Karon.

Construction of the piers themselves was deemed possible, despite the battering of strong waves through the southwest monsoon from May through October each year, the report noted.

However, the sea taxi service itself would operate only six months a year, during the high season from November through April.

“During the (southwest) monsoon season, it would not be safe to use this service,” the report said.

The feasibility research indicated that “not less than 370,000 passengers” were expected to use the service each year.

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“It will affect some aspects of the beach area reconstruction during the construction but there are solutions to such problems already,” the reported.

However, concern was expressed on several issues, but most importantly that that the volume of passengers “would make it too long to recover the investment in this project.”

The overall consesus of the report was, “The project is not appropriate in many aspects in terms of investment, environmental impact.”

Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kepsub, present at the meeting, said, “After listening to the impact studies from consulting companies, it has been shown that this project is not worth the investment required.

“The number of passengers is not very high, only 300,000 or so, and service is only six months a year.

“It is not worth the money,” she said.

Mayor Chalermluck also noted, “The impact of coastal erosion was another issue. Representatives from the Provincial Office for Natural Resources and Environmental suggested that if the project affects coastal erosion, it should not be built.

“This aim of project was to solve the traffic congestion on the island by providing a boat service as an alternative. In this, the government is focusing on other current projects, such as the light-rail or building a tunnel to Patong,” she said.

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Kurt | 02 December 2018 - 11:40:16

Wish I know there are advisory seats available for a 'feasibility study' of any kind.
I have time for it and can bring a empty envelop myself.  ( smile)

Kurt | 01 December 2018 - 17:43:29

The 'feasibility study' was just mend to swallow the dissappoinment in expected 'project commisions' lost with this last 'commission study'. At least a bit to go home with. TIT.
Now new hopes with the light rail and the Patong tunnel 'studies'. 'We keep going'. Patong Tunnel studies will cost as much as building it. Generations to come joining the studies/ ...

Fascinated | 01 December 2018 - 13:24:21

It didn't take a 'feasibility study' to come to this conclusion- one wonders what it cost? So long as everyone got a cut that's OK then!

Timothy | 01 December 2018 - 08:48:17

Ok, that's a start. Now if they run the numbers on the 40 billion baht train to nowhere, maybe they will discover it's not worth building. ...But 40 billion leaves a lot to......think about. 

BenPendejo | 30 November 2018 - 13:56:17

Thank god this disaster was averted. The simple fact that the Marine Department Director was an avid supporter of this is testimony of his lack of knowledge about marine issues, but that is no surprise. If they want to ease traffic, how about establishing efficient bus service, then eliminate a big number of taxis/minivans...they are the one clogging up the place with their stupid mafia system

Kurt | 30 November 2018 - 13:00:39

A child knew that such a project, only 5 months a year operational is not worth any investment. + Boat safety is not 'Phuket's' strongest point, law enforcement wise  ( Phoenix, etc).
So, just keep dreaming about a Patong tunnel for the coming 20 years or so. + at least another 20 years construction time ( projected on the many years needed for a simple Chalong underpass).

Rorri_2 | 30 November 2018 - 12:51:49

Most of us commented how stupid this idea was... on the plus side, a few consultancies have made money out of it.

 

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