Surat Thani International Airport

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Surat Thani International Airport

ท่าอากาศยานสุราษฎร์ธานี
Surat Thani Airport (2022).jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic / Military
OwnerRoyal Thai Air Force
OperatorDepartment of Airports
ServesSurat Thani
Location73 Moo 3, Hua Toei, Phunphin, Surat Thani, Thailand
Opened15 April 1981
(41 years ago)
 (1981-04-15)
Elevation AMSL6.1 m / 20 ft
Coordinates09°07′57″N 99°08′08″E / 9.13250°N 99.13556°E / 9.13250; 99.13556
Websitehttps://minisite.airports.go.th/suratthani/
Map
URT is located in Thailand
URT
URT
Location of airport in Thailand
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 3,000 9,843 Asphalt
Helipads
Number Length Surface
m ft
25 82
Statistics (2019)
Total Passengers1,873,060

Surat Thani International Airport (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานสุราษฎร์ธานี) (IATA: URT, ICAO: VTSB) is an international airport located in Phunphin District, Surat Thani Province, in Southern Thailand. The airport, 21 kilometres west of Surat Thani City, also is home to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) squadrons. Surat Thani International Airport has a single paved runway. It is the tenth-busiest airport in Thailand in terms of passengers, handling more than two million passengers annually.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International
Nok Air Bangkok–Don Mueang
Nordwind Airlines Seasonal charter: Krasnoyarsk, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Novosibirsk[1]
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai
Thai Lion Air Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai Smile Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Thai Vietjet Air Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi

Terminated[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Passengers[edit]

Year Total Passengers Change Total Flights Total Cargo (Tonnes)
2001 180,621 1,531 4,646.35
2002 163,321 Decrease 9.58% 1,510 2,472.06
2003 162,661 Decrease 0.40% 1,518 2,070.01
2004 202,250 Increase 24.34% 1,629 1,858.76
2005 206,342 Increase 2.02% 1,793 1,698.92
2006 291,094 Increase 41.07% 2,812 1,412.82
2007 359,467 Increase 23.49% 3,316 1,061.95
2008 344,748 Decrease 4.09% 2,904 1,464.76
2009 394,096 Increase 14.31% 3,266 1,301.99
2010 505,776 Increase 28.34% 4,460 1,152.31
2011 595,184 Increase 17.68% 5,251 1,369.13
2012 816,484 Increase 37.18% 6,308 1,541.00
2013 1,080,508 Increase 32.34% 8,457 1,568.07
2014 1,319,660 Increase 22.13% 10,175 1,571.29
2015 1,856,315 Increase 40.67% 13,257 1,601.26
2016 2,032,042 Increase 9.47% 13,813 1,575.77
2017 2,247,344 Increase 10.60% 15,396 1,036.80
2018 2,108,289 Decrease 6.19% 14,000 1,144.99
2019 1,864,997 Decrease 11.54% 12,340 829.87

History[edit]

Surat Thani International Airport in May 2022

Donnok airport[edit]

Surat Thani Airport's predecessor is known locally as Donnok Airport (Thai: สนามบินดอนนก). It is located around 3 kilometres away from Surat Thani City, and has a single, gravel paved runway, 800 meters in length.[2] Later, the runway was expanded by the Royal Thai Air Force and became 1,000 metres long. The runway is only capable of handling small planes, such as DC-3.[2]

The current airport[edit]

Due to the original airport's close proximity to Surat Thani, The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) planned a new airport away from the city. A former airfield used in The Second World War by the military was chosen as the site for the new airport. After the construction site was chosen, a plan for the airfield's development was proposed. However, in 1973, the government suspended the development project and used the funds to support Phuket International Airport's operations instead.[2]

In 1975, many residents in Surat Thani called for the project's reconsideration. The Ministry of Defence and CAAT showed interest in the project and the airfield's development began in 1978. The airport was officially opened on 15 April 1981. It had a single runway, 2,500 metres in length. In 1993, the runway was expanded to support larger commercial flights and military operations.[2]

Future upgrades and developments[edit]

Surat Thani Airport in 2008

The Department of Airports announced a 1.7 billion Baht plan to upgrade the airport.[3] Details of the project are as following:

  1. The airport's apron will be expanded to increase its capacity up to 11 Boeing 737s at a time.[3]
  2. The electrical system and wires will be moved underground.
  3. The airport terminal will be expanded to accommodate up to 3.6 million passengers a year.[4] The car park will also be expanded to handle up to 700 cars at a time.[3]
  4. The runway will be upgraded to increase its strength.[3]
  5. Construction of the new transportation center to handle more passengers.[3]

Military use[edit]

As well as being a commercial facility, Surat Thani Airport is an active RTAF base, the home of 4th Air Division/7th Wing Air Combat Command. 701 Squadron, "Shark", flies twelve SAAB JAS-39 C/D Gripen fighter aircraft. 702 Squadron operates two airborne early warning (AEW) and two transport SAAB SF340 airplanes. A further two SF340s are on order.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 11 December 1998, Thai Airways Flight 261, an A310-200 (HS-TIA), bound for Surat Thani from Bangkok, was making its third landing attempt in heavy rain when it crashed into a rice paddy about 3 km (1.9 mi) from the airport; 101 of the 146 passengers and crew aboard were killed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Surat Thani, Thailand gains first intercontinental route". ch-aviation.com. 22 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Surat Thani International Airport (21 November 2013). "ประวัติความเป็นมา". Archived from the original on 28 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Khaosod Online (18 January 2021). "กรมท่าอากาศยาน อัดฉีด 1.7 พันล้านบาท ขยายสนามบินสุราษฎร์ธานี".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Bangkok Post (6 August 2019). "Three airports to be upgraded".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]

Surat Thani travel guide from Wikivoyage