BTS Group looks to revive dormant U-Tapao airport project as it undertakes study tour to Hong Kong

Keeree Kanjanapas, the chairman of BTS Group Holding Plc (BTS) and the executive Chairman of U-Tapao International Aviation, has led a group of people to visit Hong Kong to study the way things are done in the city as the delayed U-Tapao airport started to breathe life after nearly 3-years of being in a coma.

The move by Keeree comes after the Cabinet in early November this year approved the plans to expand the airport with 17.77 billion Baht in funding that would see a 3.5-kilometre runway being opened as early as 2024.

The redevelopment of U-Tapao is part of the government’s move to keep its pet project Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), moving. However, little progress has been made in the nearly 5-years since the launch of the EEC project.

The expansion of U-Tapao airport is in the grander scheme of things to help spur the tourism industry in Thailand, including the expansion of Suvarnabhumi airport and also Don Muang airport.

Suvarnabhumi airport is already nearly opening satellite terminal 1, which could accommodate up to 28 more aircraft parking bays and the passenger terminal to accommodate more passengers, with the nearly 400,000 square meters of expansion expected to be completed by June 2025. This expansion will help increase the passenger handling capacity to 120 million from the current 45 million.

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