Businesses on Samui propose second airport

4 Oct 2011

Tourism businesses on Koh Samui have proposed the opening of a second airport to serve the island. Islanders say that the current airport does not serve their interests very well as it is privately owned and runs in accordance with the requirements of proprietors Bangkok Airways.

Travel firms say they want to buy a 2000 rai (800 acres) plot of land on the mainland near the Don Sak ferry port. Once the land purchase has been finalised, then the airport management plans to apply for an operating licence at the Thai transport ministry.

People landing at an airport near Don Sak would still face a one-hour ferry trip across the Gulf of Thailand to Samui. This would not be as convenient as actually landing at the current Koh Samui Airport, yet would offer diversity of airlines and would probably be cheaper.

Establishing a new airport close to Don Sak would offer Samui tourists a more comfortable travel option than existing airports at Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat, as these are both more than 30 minutes drive away.

Due to its monopoly at Koh Samui Airport, Bangkok Airways is able to impose punitive landing fees on other carriers and has denied applications to extend the runway so that it can accommodate larger aircraft. Taxis that service the airport are also controlled by Bangkok Airways and Samui accommodation operators have alleged that this affects the free flow of visitors to hotels. 

Tags: Samui second airport

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