Nakhon Si Thammarat airport (photo by Nujaree Raekrun)
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT — The Department of Airports has set aside 353.8 million baht to carry out a flood prevention project for Nakhon Si Thammarat airport in the South.
The project was officially announced by Darun Saengchai, director-general of the department, who went to the airport on Sunday to kick-start the construction of a floodwall around the airport.
Mr Darun said the project was prompted by a major flood in January this year, forcing a temporary closure of Nakhon Sri Thammarat airport.
He said it is the Transport Ministry’s long-term policy to prevent airports from flooding. Of the country’s 29 airports, the one at Nakhon Si Thammarat is at most risk of flooding as it is situated in a low-lying area.
He said the Sakon Nakhon airport in the Northeast is usually flood-free. The recent flooding there was unusual — the first occurrence in 60 years — and was caused by excessive rainfall in Muang district.
A budget of 353.8 million baht has been allocated for the construction of the flood prevention project at Nakhon Si Thammarat airport. The project is to be completed in 16 months – and after that, the airport will have no further problems with flooding, Mr Darun said.
Mr Darun said that starting in 2018 or 2019, the passenger building of Nakhon Si Thammarat airport will be expanded under a 1,800-million-baht project to accommodate 1.6 million passengers per year, up from the current 1.2 million. It is expected to be completed in 2022.
After that, the airport’s runways and taxiways will also be expanded to accommodate larger aircraft from other countries.