Author Topic: Airport may be renamed U-Tapao Pattaya  (Read 666 times)

Offline thaiga

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Airport may be renamed U-Tapao Pattaya
« on: July 15, 2015, 02:11:10 PM »
Airport may be renamed U-Tapao Pattaya

The new passenger terminal under construction at U-Tapao airport, Rayong province. (Navy photo)

The tourism and sports minister wants the expanded U-Tapao airport renamed U-Tapao Pattaya airport to improve awareness and use of it as a tourist arrival point.

Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said she would ask the navy to include "Pattaya" in the  airport's name. U-Tapao is being expanded to attract more direct flights from international airlines.

"Use of the name Pattaya will help boost tourists' awareness, because Pattaya is a landmark of tourism in Thailand already well-known to travellers," she said.

The navy has been operating U-Tapao airport in Rayong province for over five decades and its commercial role is being expanded so that it can operate as a third airport for Bangkok.

Naval air commander Rear Adm Vasinsan Chantavarin, the director of U-Tapao, said that airport's commercial role was already expanding. Kan Air had introduced six routes to Pattaya, AirAsia would launch its U-Tapao-Kuala Lumpur service on Thursday (July 16), and Thai AirAsia would use U-Tapao airport as its fifth hub to serve domestic and international flights from October this year.

At present, U-Tapao airport has the capacity to handle 800,000 passengers a year, but is already serving 120,000-130,000. A second passenger terminal will be opened next June and raise capacity to 3 million passengers a year.

Rear Adm Vasinsan said  the airport management would work with authorities in the eastern provinces of Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Rayong and Trat and promote their tourist attractions, encouraging visitors to arrive in the region through U-Tapao airport.

U-Tapao airport is 45 kilometres from Pattaya and 190km from Bangkok.

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