The newly opened Samui Airport accommodates up to 16,000 passengers a day. An official launch will take place in January 2008.
The US$15.8 million project, consisting of new domestic terminals and two international terminals, is four times bigger than the old airport. It features a passenger area of 73,000sqm. Check in for all flights is now concentrated in a main single space, while a “meeting point” is designated for all arrivals.
Interesting features include a “walking street” adjacent to the passengers’ terminal lined with boutique style shops and a coral aquarium in the men’s toilet. Early next year, a 60-room hotel will begin operations.
Inaugurated in 1989, the Samui Airport went public after 17 years of private ownership by Bangkok Airways. It is the island’s only aviation gateway, serving direct flights from Bangkok, Phuket, U-Tapao, Chiangmai, Singapore and Hongkong. In the near future, more arrivals are expected with increasing regional connections by Bangkok Airways.
Other carriers operating to Koh Samui include Berjaya Air from Kuala Lumpur and budget airline FireFly from Penang. Details at www.bangkokair.com