Thailand to build $8.8B airport city to boost aviation, tourism

By Hoang Vu   February 1, 2023 | 03:57 am PT
Thailand to build $8.8B airport city to boost aviation, tourism
An airline staff member wearing a protective mask stands at U-Tapao Airport, in Rayong, Ban Chang District, Thailand, February 4, 2020. Photo by Reuters
The Thai government has given the greenlight for the building of a 290-billion baht ($8.82 billion) aviation city, with construction expected to begin early this year.

The project will turn U-Tapao Airport, the gateway to Rayong and Pattaya cities, into a new international airport linked with Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports to boost tourism, The Bangkok Post reported.

Once completed, it is expected to generate 15,600 additional jobs in the first five years and to drive growth in the country’s aviation industry.

The project will also include a free trade zone for cargo, an aviation training center, an aircraft maintenance facility for the repair and overhaul of aircraft.

Thanks to the open visa policy, Thailand, Southeast Asia's second largest economy, received 11 million foreign visitors last year, making its tourism industry among the fastest to recover in the region following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Thai government is targeting 25 million foreign arrivals this year.

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