Florenz Kittel, who has a business taking aerial videos, visited the site of Koh Phangan Airport in January 2015 to fly his drone over the site. He has kindly put his video footage on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZtDDlhsc64).
You can see the footage above. It clearly shows the area that has been cleared for the airport. If you look at the render published by Kan Air below you get an idea of how the airport will be laid out. Judging by the size of the trucks and builders’ huts on the ground, the area cleared clearly looks large enough to hold a runway as well as airport buildings.
The video clip also shows that alot of work has been done levelling the ground to make it suitable for building. As yet, it looks like little concrete has been poured. This obviously indicates that the airport completion is clearly at least 12 months away, if not longer.
The comments to the original YouTube video are mostly cynical about the new airport. On the other hand, the video does show that work is on-going, and that the airport is feasible as an engineering project.
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.