PHUKET: In a move to service increasing numbers of visitors to Krabi and provide some relief for the overcrowded Phuket International Airport, Krabi International Airport will become a 24-hour facility, its director said yesterday.
“The number of tourists visiting our province has been going up in recent years, and the demand for flights and airport services is increasing,” Krabi Airport Director Sunyaluk Kraiboot said.
“During the 2011-2012 high season, from October to March, our passenger numbers were up about 20 per cent over the previous high season, and during the 2012-2013 high season, they went up again by 25 per cent.”
The total number of high-season passengers for the 2010-2011 high season was 563,464. In the 2012-2013 season, it surpassed 857,600. Both domestic and international numbers are going up, he said.
Low-season arrivals are also up, though not as dramatically. During the 2012 low season, April to September, Krabi airport saw 441,602 passengers. This year’s low season hasn’t ended yet, but the number so far is already higher; from April to July there were 448,967 passengers, he said.
“The decision to keep the airport open 24 hours was made by the Minister of Transportation, and it’s only been announced unofficially. We don’t have a start date yet,” he said.
“Our current hours of operation are 6:30am to 9:30pm but we still get arrivals after that, such as charter flights, so you could say we’re open 24 hours a day already.
“The new policy aims to make us more active and ready to serve private jets as well as charter flights at night,” Director Sunyaluk said.