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Phuket International Airport – Jet Terminal?

A new terminal only for private jets could be built at Phuket International Airport. This will be part of the ongoing expansion of Thailand’s second busiest airport.

There are now about 100 private jets arriving every month according to ASA Group, a VIP travel specialist.

The proposed terminal would be built separately from the main terminal and would be paid for by private investors under a concession arrangement with Airports of Thailand Plc.

AoT, which operates the country’s six main airports, will investigate which companies would be interested to develop the VIP terminal.

The terminal could offer ground handling plus passenger hospitality services comparable to those at 5-star hotels, Phuket airport general manager said.

The propose terminal is seen to further improve the island’s growing reputation as a destination for the rich and famous and international jet-set.

AoT is not intending to invest in the terminal itself but prefers to leave that to those with expertise in this area.

AoT is investing about 5 billion Baht to further expand Phuket International Airport in a way to deal with overcrowding problems. This is part of the five year development plan which is running until 2013.

After the expansion, the airport will be capable of handling 11.5M passengers a year of which 6 million international and 555 million domestic. Currently the annual limit is 6.5 million passengers.

2008 saw 5.7 million passengers arriving at Phuket International Airport. Traffic in the first quarter of this year was slowed down by the global crisis and political turmoil.

ASA Group has been negotiating with AoT to develop what it calls a ‘state of the art terminal and business center’ to accommodate the growing arrivals of VIP visitors.

ASA Group is not proposing to build a new terminal but is looking to convert some existing facilities instead.

Although no agreement has been reached yet, the company is ready to move quickly and could have some services available by September this year.

‘We handle a lot of flights into Bangkok and Phuket and it is obvious that now is the right time to cater for our rapidly growing clientele of VIP visitors, who have nowhere in the airports to go once they disembark’ Mr. Simon Wagstaff, who is the founder of the Hong Kong-based specialist in elite travel, said.


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