Chiang Rai International Airport

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Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport

ท่าอากาศยานแม่ฟ้าหลวง เชียงราย
Airport typePublic
ServesChiang Rai / Phayao
LocationBan Du, Mueang Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Opened5 August 1992; 31 years ago (1992-08-05)
Operating base forThai AirAsia
Elevation AMSL390 m / 1,280 ft
Coordinates19°57′08″N 99°52′58″E / 19.95222°N 99.88278°E / 19.95222; 99.88278
CEI/VTCT is located in Thailand
Location of airport in Thailand
Direction Length Surface
m ft
03/21 3,000 9,843 Asphalt concrete
Statistics (2023)
Total Passengers1,920,228 Increase13.84%
International passengers384 Increase262.26%
Domestic passengers1,919,844 Increase13.83%
Aircraft movements12,485 Increase4.74%
Freight (tonnes)875 Decrease4.89%
Source: Airports of Thailand[1]
Airport bay
Airport arrivals hall
Cultural music awaits visitors at baggage claim

Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (IATA: CEI, ICAO: VTCT) is in Ban Du subdistrict, Mueang Chiang Rai district, Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand.[2] The airport is about 8 km from the city center. Since 1998, it has been managed by the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT). In 2013, the airport handled over 1,000,000 passengers and 7,000 passenger flights.[3] The airport had international flight facilities and served a few international routes to Macau, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Haikou, Hangzhou, Changsha, Xishuangbanna, Shenzhen, and Chengdu, all of which were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4][5] Since travel restrictions were imposed in China, there have been no international commercial flights connecting Chiang Rai to the global market. Thus, the airport has been seeking other possible routes to connect to such as to South Korea.[6]

In 2014, Airports of Thailand announced that they would expand Chiang Rai airport. The plans include building an additional taxiway and more shops, and possibly extending the runway. This should be completed in 2030.[7]

Chiang Rai International Airport was named "Mae Fah Luang", after Princess Srinagarindra, mother of the previous monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej, reigning under the dynastic name of Rama IX.


Since the relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the airport is handling approximately 3,900 passengers per day.[6] However, there are still no international flights operating to the airport. The Airports of Thailand (AOT) has approved expansion plans of the airport to attract international carriers and improve the experience for passengers using the airports facilities. This includes improvements of the airport's entrance and exit roads, construction of a Maintenance Repair Operation centre (MRO) for aircraft maintenance, and construction of a parallel taxiway.[8]

The construction of the aircraft maintenance facility is set to be completed by 31 July 2023. The facility will be able to service and repair large Airbus and Boeing aircraft from China. The airport will also become a cargo transportation hub for the northern region of Thailand.[6]


Annual passenger traffic at CEI airport. See Wikidata query.

Traffic by calendar year[edit]

Comparison of passenger volume, aircraft movements and cargo volume at Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport, by year
Year Passengers Change from
previous year
Movements Cargo
2015 1,745,568 13,402 5,273 [9]
2016 2,060,200 Increase016.78% 14,590 5,484 [10]
2017 2,503,375 Increase021.51% 17,661 4,827 [11]
2018 2,867,289 Increase014.54% 20,072 3,545 [12]
2019 2,928,733 Increase02.14% 20,129 2,537 [13]
2020 1,513,294 Decrease048.33% 12,126 963 [14]
2021 710,408 Decrease053.06% 6,131 586 [15]
2022 1,686,726 Increase0137.43% 11,920 920 [16]
2023 1,920,228 Increase013.84% 12,485 875 [16]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Nok Air Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai Airways International Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Thai Lion Air Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai VietJet Air Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Phuket

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 30 July 2022: Nok Air Flight 108, a Boeing 737-800 (registered HS-DBR) from Bangkok Don Muang to Chiang Rai with 164 passengers and 6 crew, landed on Chiang Rai's runway 03 at 21:04L (14:04Z) but veered left off the runway and came to a stop all wheels off the paved runway. There were no injuries reported.[17] The airport was closed until the aircraft and foreign object debris (FOD) could be moved away from the runway.[18] The airport reopened and continued operations as normal 6 days later.[19]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Air Transport Statistic". Airports of Thailand. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Chiang Rai Airport". Google Maps. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
  3. ^ "2013 (Statistic Report 2013)". Airports of Thailand PLC (AOT). Archived from the original on 2014-12-07. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
  4. ^ ทีมข่าวHFLIGHT. "แอร์เอเชียเปิดฮับเชียงราย! พร้อมบินตรง 4 เส้นทางสู่ภูเก็ต มาเก๊า สิงคโปร์ กัวลาลัมเปอร์ - ข่าวสายการบิน & โปรโมชั่น - ตั๋วเครื่องบิน/จองโรงแรม/ท่องเที่ยว". Retrieved 2023-06-18.
  5. ^ "แอร์เอเชียเปิดเส้นทางบินเชียงราย บินตรงสู่ ภูเก็ต มาเก๊า สิงคโปร์ มาเลเซีย". 2018-12-21.
  6. ^ a b c "สนามบินเชียงรายเริ่มคึกคัก! เร่งทำถนน-ศูนย์ซ่อมรับอนาคต พร้อมชงเปิดบิน ตปท.แล้ว – เชียงรายโฟกัสดอทคอม สังคมออนไลน์ของคนเชียงราย" (in Thai). Retrieved 2023-06-18.
  7. ^ "ทอท.ทุ่ม 6 พันล้าน... ขยายสนามบิน "แม่ฟ้าหลวง"". 29 March 2018.
  8. ^ "ทอท.เทงบเกือบ 700 ล้าน ผุดทางคู่ขนานรันเวย์สนามบินเชียงราย-ศูนย์ซ่อมรับทุนจีนหลังโควิด". (in Thai). 2021-10-03. Retrieved 2023-06-18.
  9. ^ Air Traffic Report 2015 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2016. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  10. ^ Air Traffic Report 2016 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2017. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  11. ^ Air Traffic Report 2017 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2018. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  12. ^ Air Traffic Report 2018 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2019. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  13. ^ Air Traffic Report 2019 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2020. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  14. ^ Air Traffic Report 2020 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2021. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  15. ^ Air Traffic Report 2021 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2022. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  16. ^ a b Air Traffic Report 2022 (PDF). Airports of Thailand (AOT). 2023. p. 1. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  17. ^ "Nok Air plane slides off runway in Chiang Rai, all flights cancelled". Bangkok Post.
  18. ^ leah (2022-08-04). "Chiang Rai Airport to stay closed until August 6 following Nok Air incident". Thaiger. Retrieved 2023-06-18.
  19. ^ "Chiang Rai airport reopens". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2023-06-18.

External links[edit]

Chiang Rai travel guide from Wikivoyage