Thailand's Chiang Rai airport will receive an upgrade over the next two years to make it a possible alternative to the Chiang Mai airport.
The THB300m ($8.59m) expansion includes the construction of two new taxi-ways. The existing airport is equipped to handle around 50 aircraft movements a day, with the aircraft taxiing to the terminal, reported the TTR Weekly.
Aircraft parking lots, gates and departure halls will be built, along with a new international terminal area on the second floor of the terminal building.
These changes will provide additional space on the ground floor for the future expansion of domestic gates and passenger space.
Managed by Airports of Thailand (AoT) since 1998, the airport located around 10km away from the city center operates only one international route and handles immigration from Thai Airways flights with international connections to and from Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi.
Officials from AoT presented the plan at a seminar that focussed on the region's future in the Chinese tourism market.
The airport is said to have handled around 3,400 Chinese passengers during the peak travel months between January and March this year.
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai airports, located 180km apart, are likely to be connected through a motorway. If constructed, this motorway could cut down the travel time between the two airports by half from the current three hours.
Image: Chiang Rai airport currently handles around 50 aircraft movements a day. Photo: courtesy of Jutiphan Mongkolsuthree.