Betong District Chief Damrong Deesakul disclosed the construction of Betong International Airport would finish by July 2019 and the new airport should be operational in 2020.
Mr Damrong said the government had approved the plan to enlarge the airport by another 80 rai (12.8 hectares) from 920 rai (147.2ha) in accordance with the Triangle of Stability, Prosperity and Sustainability program. Land purchases are in process.
Mr Damrong said the people of Betong had been waiting for the airport for more than 30 years. It is estimated that the airport will see over five million foreign tourists per year, particularly visitors from Malaysia, as the airport will enable those travelling from Betong District to Bangkok to reduce their travel costs significantly.
Yala province is also expected to earn over B10 billion annually when the airport opens.
The Betong District Chief also spoke about a number of new initiatives, such as the setting up of a passport service division in Betong District Office to enable the people to save time, expansion of Road No 410 and the construction of a tunnel and a bypass linking Betong district of Yala province with Pattani province.
The southernmost district has seen a surge in tourists since the government lifted the emergency decree in March in a move to foster economic and social development.
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