Author Topic: Govt wants to revive airports  (Read 1094 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Govt wants to revive airports
« on: April 30, 2012, 09:11:29 AM »
Govt wants to revive airports

Regional facilities lie dormant, ministry says
The Transport Ministry wants to revive regional airports which have been left idle.

Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan said he had told the Civil Aviation Department to consider how best to use several regional airports under the department's supervision which are currently unused.

They include Phetchabun, Roi Et, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chumphon airports. Mr Jarupong said previous governments invested in building these airports but many of them could not open for services. Some had to be closed for a variety of reasons.

For example, Nakhon Ratchasima airport was closed because it was too far from the downtown area, while the Phetchabun airport folded as it was not profitable, he said.

These airports could be used as flight training grounds for various agencies and to help ease overcrowding at other commercial airports, he said.

The minister said AoT should run provincial airports rather than Thai Airways International.

"In principle, AoT is better suited to run regional airports than THAI," he said.

"THAI operates flights and if it runs the airport, there could be a conflict of interest."

Civil Aviation Department director-general Woradej Harnprasert said the department will next month select the new operator of Krabi airport, which is currently under the department's supervision. AoT and THAI are vying for the role.

This is part of the department's project to improve the 28 regional airports under its umbrella. Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Surat Thani airports, each handling more than 1 million passengers a year, will be next in line for improvements, Mr Woradej said.

He said private companies should not run the regional airports as they would eye only those with a high amount of traffic to maximise profits.Deputy department chief Seri Jitsopha said a department committee will meet next month to look at the plans to run the Krabi airport submitted by AoT and THAI.

Bangkok Post

Offline Johnnie F.

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Bangkok-Korat flights deemed unworkable
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 02:00:54 PM »

Airport officials and airline executives are in consensus that there is insufficient demand for regular air services for the route in the first place.

The launch of the 260-kilometre railway over the next four years, based on Chinese technology, could be the final nail in the coffin for the theoretical Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima air link.

The relative proximity between the two cities makes road transport more convenient, less time-consuming and more economical, and thus not a good business proposition for offering commercial flights.

A ride on the 179-billion-baht high-speed train from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima is expected to take 1 hour and 17 minutes and cost 535 baht one-way, according to Kobsak Pootrakool, vice-minister to the Prime Minister's Office.

Travelling the same distance on a provincial bus takes 4-5 hours, while the drive in a private car can be made in three hours under good traffic conditions.

Airlines will never beat the train or other road transport in any respect, thus explaining why airlines have long shunned the idea of regular flights between the two cities.

"Imagine you have to drive all the way up to either Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi airport, then spend another hour for check-in and security checks before taking the flight, which could take 30 minutes," Mr Kobsak said.

Upon arrival at Nakhon Ratchasima airport, the wait is another 15 minutes or so for baggage, then local transport must be secured to get to the city centre 26km away.

The airfare expense on the route would be discouraging commuters, said a senior executive of a long-established Thai airline who asked not to be named, adding that it makes more sense to drive than to fly the relatively short distance.

Nakhon Ratchasima airport director Prawat Duangkanya agreed that operating commercial flights between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima is not feasible for any airline.

But there are prospects for linking Nakhon Ratchasima airport to cities such as Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Phuket and Hat Yai, as these routes make more sense, Mr Prawat told the Bangkok Post.

Budget carriers Nok Air and Thai AirAsia are studying those possibilities, though no-frills Thai Lion Air, which expressed interest about two years ago in operating at Nakhon Ratchasima, said recently that it was not ready to do so, according to Mr Prawat.

Airlines are clearly unenthusiastic about serving Nakhon Ratchasima until traffic demand is seen.

Though Nakhon Ratchasima, commonly known as Korat, is a big province and a gateway to the northeastern region, it is unclear who would want to fly there.

"The province is not clear about whether it offers leisure or business travel," the airline executive said.

Mr Prawat reckoned that Nakhon Ratchasima will need to create activities or attractions to spur air travel demand to the province.

On the authority's part, plans are afoot for the Nakhon Ratchasima airport to extend incentives such as landing- and parking-fee waivers to attract airlines to the airport.

These incentives are expected to be announced in the next few weeks, along with measures by other inactive airports operated by the Department of Airports, including Petchabun airport.

Nakhon Ratchasima airport has been struggling in vain to host scheduled airlines with regular services, rather than small charter flight operators with irregular or training flights.

The last time Nakhon Ratchasima had regular flights was during February-June 2015 by Kan Air, a Thai commuter airline.

Bangkok Post

They finally found out! :-[

Offline thaiga

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Re: Govt wants to revive airports
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 02:26:26 PM »
ARHH! we never thought of that ::)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.