Thailand's Civil Aviation Department stated it would this month submit its airport management plans to the Transport Ministry, under which 28 airports will be categorised into three groups depending on their financial performance (The Nation, 15-Jun-2010). The airports will then be put up for auction to select qualified private operators. Each group contains both profit-making and loss-making airports, as part of efforts to attract interest for all airports. Until now, the airports have been categorised into four groups based on their financial performance, as follows:
- Group I: Six high-potential airports that handle more than 300,000 passengers p/a, including Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Surat Thani, Krabi and Nakhon Si Thammarat;
- Group II: Contains four airports with medium potential, with passengers numbering between 50,000 and 300,000 per year. They are the airports in Mae Hong Son, Phitsanulok, Trang and Narathiwat;
- Group III: Airports with some commercial operations, including nine airports in Sakhon Nakhon, Roi Et, Nakhon Phanom, Buri Ram, Pai, Nan, Lampang, Hua Hin and Ranong;
- Group IV: Contains nine airports that offer no commercial services. They are in Nakhon Ratchasima, Loei, Mae Sod, Tak, Mae Sariang, Phrae, Phetchabun, Chumphon and Pattani.