Business executives in Chiang Mai urged Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to undertake the following initiatives during a meeting at Chiang Mai University on Saturday:
- Extend the operating hours of Chiang Mai Airport to accommodate more international flights and boost tourist numbers. Currently, the airport closes at midnight.
- Build a second airport to serve Chiang Mai, proposed to be named Lanna International Airport.
- Promote a “12 months, 12 events” policy to enhance tourism year-round.
- Support international conferences and exhibitions and promote Chiang Mai’s cultural traditions to attract tourists.
- Emphasize soft power as a primary government policy.
- Encourage talented chefs in the northern region to attain world-class status.
- Address the urgent PM2.5 fine dust crisis in the North.
Provide state support and increased access to funding for startups, while facilitating their connection to the global market. Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT), which operates Chiang Mai International Airport, is implementing phase 1 of a plan that includes the construction of a new international passenger terminal and the renovation of the existing terminal for domestic passengers. This expansion, which is expected to cost about 10 million baht, will increase the airport’s capacity to 18 million passengers per year. Currently, Chiang Mai Airport can handle about 15 flights per hour – 150 flights per day on average. After the completion of Phase 1, the airport’s capacity to handle flights will increase to 30 flights per hour. AOT is also preparing a feasibility study for the construction of a second airport adjacent to Chiang Mai province in Lamphun province’s Ban Thi district. It will cover 2,767.6 acres and cost between 50 billion and 60 billion baht.