Monday, 29 May 2017

Thailand plans US$5.7b upgrade of civil-military airport to take on Singapore: Report

SINGAPORE: Thailand is set to upgrade its U-Tapao civil-military airport near Bangkok to the tune of US$5.7 billion, a Bloomberg report said on Monday (May 29).

The move is meant to enhance the airport's capabilities in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul in a bid to compete with Singapore, the report added.

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Sikorsky Aircraft is set to study a possible increase in maintenance, repair and operating supplies, or MRO, spend in Thailand amid plans for the upgrade, said Ajarin Pattanapanchai, deputy secretary general of the nation’s Board of Investment in an interview with Bloomberg.

"Singapore is quite tight right now.

"To catch up with the demand of airlines in the region - especially new demand from Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia - and given that we have existing strengths with automotives and engineering, Thailand will be the second choice to be the MRO hub," he added.

The project is part of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha's plans to boost the economy, along with potential investments in high-speed rail, new cities and industry.

Source: CNA/mn

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