U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield To become Thailand’s 3rd airport
longtime military airbase southeast of Bangkok will become the capital’s third commercial airport.
The U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield will enter into commercial service by 2017, according to transportation and navy officials, who agreed yesterday to develop the single-runway facility to meet future air transport needs.
The airfield, which served as a US air force base during the American-Vietnamese war, was briefly put into commercial service in 2008 when anti-government protesters shut down Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.
Its single terminal will need to be renovated and a second built, according tostate media. Improvements are being planned to increase the airport’s capacity to three million travelers per year. A motorway will be built to connect with Pattaya and motorway No. 7.
In the long term, officials hope to see further improvements by 2020 that would increase capacity to five million travelers annually.