A historic airport in Thailand will soon be taken to new heights.
The Thai government is spending $8.8 billion (฿290 billion) to turn the country’s Vietnam War–era U-Tapao airport into a new “Eastern Aviation City,” as reported by Reuters. Construction on the massive megastructure is set to begin early this year, government spokesperson Tipanan Sirichana said in a statement shared last Friday. The project will reportedly generate 15,600 additional jobs in the first five years and bolster Thailand’s aviation industry.
Covering approximately 1,040 hectares (2,570 acres) in the country’s industrial east, the new transport hub is aiming to attract more tourists to the tropical archipelago. The new international terminal will be linked with a budget airport (Don Muang) and Thailand’s main airport (Suvarnabhumi) in order to bring passengers an array of flights and carriers. In addition, the City will include a free trade zone for commodities, a flight training center and an aircraft maintenance center.
One Works was appointed as the lead designer for the project. The international architectural design and consultancy firm is hoping to increase traveler comfort while showcasing the colorful Thai culture. The exterior of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) was inspired by the traditional yor (fishing nets) in the nearby coastal towns in the Rayong Province. The bright, airy interior, meanwhile, will feature large skylights and plenty of verdant greenery.
The PTB will also be outfitted with an array of dining spots that evoke the spirit of Thai street markets. To top it off, the building will have a centrally-located Smart Eco Hub Retail area for shoppers and a Culture Village that will provide entertainment for all visitors. Essentially, it’s a place where you can dine and unwind before, during or after a trip.
“In the true sense of Thai hospitality, the PTB has been designed to put the passenger first—creating an inviting environment where the passenger can relax and appreciate Thailand’s people-oriented services and culture as part of their journey,” the firm said in a statement.
With the expansion, U-Tapao International Airport could ultimately welcome between 60 million and 75 million passengers per annum. Perhaps we should call it the Eastern Aviation Metropolis.
Click here to see all the photos of the Eastern Aviation City.