Thailand’s southernmost province of Yala is close to having its own airport. The long-awaited Betong International Airport project is expected to complete next year.
Betong District Chief, Damrong Deesakul, said the construction of Betong International Airport would finish in July 2019 and the new airport should be operational in 2020. Damrong said the government had approved the plan to enlarge the airport by another 12.8 hectares from 147.2 hectares in accordance with the Triangle of Stability, Prosperity and Sustainability programme. Land purchases are in process.
Damrong said the people of Betong had been waiting for the airport for more than 30 years. It is estimated that the airport will see more than five million foreign tourists per year, particularly visitors from Malaysia, as the airport will enable those traveling from Betong district to Bangkok to reduce their travel costs significantly. Yala province is also expected to earn more than Bt10 billion annually when the airport opens.
The Betong district chief also spoke about a number of new initiatives, such as the setting up of a passport service division in Betong District Office to enable the people to save time, expansion of Road No 410 and the construction of a tunnel and a bypass linking Betong district of Yala province with Pattani province.
The southernmost district has seen a surge in tourists since the government lifted the emergency decree in March in a move to foster economic and social development.