The government of Thailand has approved a $1.9bn expansion plan at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Air chief marshal Prajin Juntong announced that the country will also build three provincial airports and a third runway, which will cost approximately $0.58bn.

The government aims to complete the expansion quickly in order to accommodate the growing number of travellers at the airport.

"This expansion would help to increase capacity at the Suvarnabhumi airport to 80 million over the next five years."

Juntong added that a committee will be set up to look into the project details before presenting it to the cabinet for approval.

Aviation operator Airports of Thailand had recently announced that it plans to spend $1.65bn (THB54bn) to expand the capacity of the airport, which was a decrease from its previously announced budget of $1.9bn (THB62bn). The plan is yet to get the transport ministry’s approval.

Since coming to power in May, the country’s military government is scrutinising state enterprises and large projects worth at least $31m (THB1bn), in order to ensure transparency and exercise more control over state companies.

Airport operators initially said that this expansion would help to increase capacity at the Suvarnabhumi airport to 80 million over the next five years.

The $4bn airport began operations in 2006 and has a current capacity to accommodate close to 45 million passengers annually. However, according to the airport, it handled approximately 50 million passengers last year.