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Thailand: Udon airport to form regional hub

The Udon Thani Airport in Thailand`s Northeast is to become a regional aviation hub following the opening of a new building within the next four months…

The Udon Thani Airport in Thailand`s Northeast is to become a regional aviation hub following the opening of a new building within the next four months, the airport’s director revealed today.



In recent years the introduction of the ‘open sky’ policy has seen a sharp increase in the number of passengers using the airport, with 350,000 passengers in 2003 swelling to 610,000 last year.



From the beginning of this year onwards, an average of 2,000 passengers have used the airport each day on one of nine Thai Airways International (THAI) flights from Bangkok, one of three Nok Air flights, one of two Air Asia flights and one Phuket Air flight.



In 2003 the airport received Bt195 million to double the size of its main passenger terminal, which, when opened, will include seven VIP rooms, a restaurant and 20 shops.



A further Bt117 million has been provided to expand the runway to 3,050metres.



The airport director, Mr. Rewat Panmongkol, said that the new terminal would respond to the needs of both domestic and international travellers, and that customs and immigration facilities were being prepared.



The internationalization of the airport is being eyed up by the Udon Thani Chamber of Commerce, whose chair Mr. Sawat Theeraratananukulchai said today that local businesses were keen to forge trade and tourism links with neighbouring countries.



Representatives from international airlines had already approached the airport to determine the feasibility of flying from Singapore, he said, adding that the flights would also touch down in Bangkok and Phuket.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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