Airports of Thailand gains Udon Thani, Krabi and Buriram Airports

Premium Analysis

On several occasions recently CAPA has reported on the efforts made by the part-privatised Airports of Thailand (AoT) to take over facilities of varying sizes from the state operator, the Department of Airports (DoA).

At length a shortlist was drawn up and the actual transfer of three of them will take place from Jan-2022. It will require compensation to be made from AoT to DoA and AoT’s job will be to develop the airports into tourist hubs; presumably something DoA was considered incapable of.

That will be a tough task, given that foreign visitors are scarce in most of the resorts as Thailand reels from the coronavirus pandemic, and could slip behind other resort areas if they open up faster.

On the periphery of all this is Bangkok Airways, arguably the most successful airline owner and operator of airports anywhere – although it is not without some criticism in the country – and seeking to extend its influence both in Thailand and abroad. Its expertise would be useful to the government, although it is not likely to be asked to provide it.

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