New terminal at Phuket Airport set to go through first test run

4 February 2016 (Last Updated February 4th, 2016 18:30)

Phuket International Airport in the Phuket province of Thailand will see its long-awaited $60m (B2.45bn) new international terminal go through its first trial run.

Phuket International Airport in the Phuket province of Thailand will see its long-awaited $60m (B2.45bn) new international terminal go through its first trial run.

The four-storey terminal, which is a part of the $140m (B5.14bn) airport expansion project, will have its first test on 14 February 2016.

The test at the new terminal will be taken by a Thai Airways International flight, TG 609, from Hong Kong.

"The airport, which is undergoing a complete expansion, will also see the renovation of its existing terminal."

Phuket International Airport general manager Monrudee Gettuphan was quoted by Bangkok Post as stating that the flight from Hong Kong will ensure if the arrival at the terminal is safe and ready for use before a range of other tests begin, reports Bangkok Post.

Scheduled to open on 1 June 2016, the Phuket International Airport's terminal will become fully operational only once tests on all systems are done.

The blue-roofed terminal with a floor space of 72,338m² and five baggage handling areas will be able to handle five million annual passengers.

It is expected to ease passenger traffic at the airport, which has been handling 6.5 million passengers annually - twice the number it has been designed.

The airport, which is undergoing a complete expansion, will also see the renovation of its existing terminal.

Once the new terminal becomes fully operational, the existing one will only be used to handle domestic flights.

In 2015, Phuket International Airport saw a significant rise in passenger numbers over the last year.

The international passenger numbers at the airport rose by 8.25% to 6,955,139 annually, while its domestic numbers increased by 18.64% to 5,904,217.

AoT, the state-controlled company that operates several airports, will finalise the expansion plan of the old terminal at Phuket.