Sign in to follow this  
Wino

U-tapao Airport Improvements

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

The navy-operated U-tapao Airport in Chon Buri is poised to become a major transit point for tourists under a B995 million plan that calls for expansion of the facility that achieved prominence during the Vietnam War, after which it would be renamed U-tapao-Pattaya International Airport.

Pattaya Mayor Itthipol Khunpluem revealed that under the plan spread over three years, U-tapao will get a new terminal and its passenger handling capacity triple from the current 400 to 1,200/hour, as would the number of aircraft bay from four to 12, taxiways improved, a separate cargo terminal built, connecting roads expanded and new ones built to facilitate the flow of traffic between U-tapao, Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports.

U-Tapao is about 190 kilometres east of Bangkok but only 23 kilometres from Pattaya city. The expansion, noted the mayor, should go down well with tourists, specially those arriving by charter flights and that in turn should help bolster the local economy.

Last year about 170 charter flights landed at U-tapao and this year their number is expected to go up to 200, most of them arriving from Russia, eastern Europe and South Korea.

In the meantime, the mayor plans to ask more airlines to connect Pattaya with other tourist destinations in Thailand. Currently, only Bangkok Airways links Pattaya with Phuket and Samui.

U-tapao poised for major turnaround

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High end travelers going from Pattaya to Samui will find U-Tapao most convenient.

Bangkok Air controls the Samui airport so the demand curve intersects a distorted supply curve at an artifically high equilibriam point.

Samui airport is perhaps the nicest I've ever seen.

Pleasant little airport at U-Tapao unless you're leaving the same time as a terminal full of Russians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad Air Asia doesn't have a few flights leaving U-tapao. Sure would be easy for Pattaya residents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Air Asia is like many low cost carriers, they often use a less traveled airport that is close to metropolitan area. I guess the landing fees are cheaper. U-tapao would certainly fit the bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

U-tapao is a long way from BKK and I think BKK people would strongly object to having to there for an AirAsia flight.

In the US, Southwest Airlines has opened service at smaller airports outside of large metropolitan areas and has done very well. Perhaps the same thing would be sucessful at U-tapao?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the US, Southwest Airlines has opened service at smaller airports outside of large metropolitan areas and has done very well. Perhaps the same thing would be successful at U-tapao?

It is about a 3 hour drive from U-Tapao to Suvarnabhumi, give or take a half hour or so. I could see commuter aircraft doing well at U-Tapao for destinations within Thailand and maybe neighboring countries. Bangkok Airways has been successful there, virtually without competition. I believe there are flights to and from Russia available there as well. It would be very interesting to see what would happen if another airline starts competing with Bangkok airways out of U-Tapao.

I know a direct rapid rail system between Pattaya and Suvarnabhumi has been discussed, but as far as I know nothing ever came of it. If something like that is ever put in place it will probably be years before it's ready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this