U-Tapao airport Pattaya
At 2.00 pm on 6th March 2009, Pattaya City Mayor, Mr. Ittipol Kumpleum, together with a team of officials held a meeting at the U-Tapao airport to discuss the upgrading of the airport and regional transportation development matters in general.
Following the relief service the airport provided to stranded tourists during the shutdown of Suvarnabhumi Airport by anti government protesters, Pattaya City decided that U-Tapao should be developed as an international airport for Thai and foreign passengers, and its name changed to “U-Tapao, Pattaya International Airport”.
Mr. Ittipol presented the plans for renovation and development including the environment around the airport and the road and traffic systems. The road to the airport will be expanded from 2 to 4 lanes and advertising boards will be erected to provide income to offset the costs of the development.
Pattaya City will take full control of the project and will initially establish a company to handle the management of the airport. The names of the Pattaya officials involved was not revealed.
Rear Admiral, Sopon Boonchom, the director of the airport, said that besides the physical renovations, the airport board will also undergo a makeover and its members changed. Pattaya City Mayor and his administrative team will be invited to join. He added that the name will be changed to “U-tapao-Pattaya International Airport” soon.
Up to now, the navy has presented the project to the government, requesting a budget of 995 million baht to rebuild the airport terminal and doubling the capacity of the passenger lounge, to renovate the landing area and parking area for aircraft, the X-ray machines, the fuel storage facilities, the fire and rescue service and the security facilities.
The Rear Admiral stated that if the budget request was approved, the airport could become one of the most popular airports in Thailand.