Work Fully Under Way
Airport construction is now fully under way. The land is being levelled in preparation of the laying of the runway and laying of foundations for the terminal buildings. The majority of the work is at the moment being carried out by a local contractor from Thong Nai Pan Yai, whose invaluable experience creating the roads on the island is being put to good use on this project.
The large flat area you can see in the third picture marks the far end of the runway, and beside which will sit the aircraft hangar. The rocky area shown in the second photograph is where the terminal buildings will start, continuing to the area to the right of the picture. The runway will go along the back of this area.
Completion is still some way off, but excitement about the new airport is growing on Koh Phangan. Now that the project is becoming more a reality the imminent changes to the island economy are beginning to sink in. There is firm talk of one or more major new luxury resorts on the East Coast of Koh Phangan, and not in Thong Nai Pan for a change. The most likely candidates are Bottle Beach and Haad Yao (East) both within a 10 minute drive of the new airport.
Contracts are also under negotiation for several new villa projects in Thong Nai Pan, the main town on the East Coast. Even before it is built the airport is leading to local economic expansion, and this is set to continue with Koh Phangan fast on track to compete with neighbouring island Koh Samui both in terms of facilities and tourist numbers.