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Betong airport to open in April


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Betong airport to open in April

Paphamon Arayasukawat

 

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BANGKOK (NNT) - After several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Betong airport in Yala province will finally open for commercial flights, when certification is completed in April. The airport is expected to serve regional airports within the southern region.

 

Betong Airport today welcomed a visit by the Director of Narathiwat Airport Duangporn Suvanmanee, acting as the Director of Betong Airport, on an inspection of the airport’s preparedness ahead of the official opening.

 

Mrs Duangporn said Betong airport is now ready in terms of facilities and personnel, with more testing of the landing system to be undertaken today ahead of the official certification by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand by April.

 

Flights from Betong airport will at first operate on just two regional routes, namely the six times a week Hat Yai - Betong service of the winter schedule starting in October; the flight is expected to operate using a 86-seater ATR turboprop aircraft, with a flight time around an hour.

 

The other route planned is the Phuket-Betong service. However the airline will need to consider passenger loads on the Hat Yai - Betong route first.

 

The small Betong airport is located 12 kilometers from Betong, Yala. Constructed with a 1.9 billion baht budget, the airport currently has a 1,800 kilometer runway suitable for the operation of turboprop ATR aircraft with 70-80 seats. The runway will be extended in the future to accommodate larger aircraft.

 

The construction of the passenger terminal, runway, taxiways, and aircraft aprons, as well as installation of the airport’s electrical system, security system, x-ray machines, and CCTV network are 100% complete. The airport at its current shape can accommodate up to 300,000 passengers per year.

 

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-- © Copyright NNT 2021-02-20
 
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2 hours ago, rooster59 said:

1,800 kilometer runway suitable for the operation of turboprop ATR aircraft with 70-80 seats. The runway will be extended in the future to accommodate larger aircraft.

Wow, with that runway length they should be able to operate space-crafts...😯

 

2 hours ago, rooster59 said:

...the flight is expected to operate using a 86-seater ATR turboprop aircraft, with a flight time around an hour.

I wonder which new ATR-aircraft that is, or perhaps a reopening of the stretched version that was abandoned in 2018? To my knowledge only ATR-42 and the stretched ATR-72 are in production, the latter with a typical configuration of 68 seats, as for example used by Bangkok Airways, but might be able to be configured with a maximum of 78 seats (for small people...:whistling:). Probably "68-seater ATR turboprop..." would be the right text.

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3 hours ago, Katipo said:

You sure this wasn't built in the 80's? Because it looks like it was built in the 80's.

It was probably designed in the 80's, it just takes a long time to agree who gets to agree the contracts and then time again to agree on the contracts and contractors. There's a lot of 'cake' to cut up.

 

The land for Suvarnabhumi was purchased in 1973 and it opened in 2006.

 

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Edited by Stocky
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Good news.

 

Spent many pleasant weekends there back in the 90's when working in Kelantan. Was looking to travel back there at some stage but didn't fancy either the winding road from Yala or entering via Malaysia.

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7 hours ago, rooster59 said:

Flights from Betong airport will at first operate on just two regional routes, namely the six times a week Hat Yai - Betong service of the winter schedule starting in October; the flight is expected to operate using a 86-seater ATR turboprop aircraft, with a flight time around an hour.

 

The other route planned is the Phuket-Betong service. However the airline will need to consider passenger loads on the Hat Yai - Betong route first.

 

Kind of surprised that Bangkok wouldn't be one of the initial destinations, but who knows.

 

Anyway, the place should certainly have an airport - I used to go there relatively often 20+ years ago, and it was a pain to get to from pretty much anywhere.

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7 hours ago, dabhand said:

Good news.

 

Spent many pleasant weekends there back in the 90's when working in Kelantan. Was looking to travel back there at some stage but didn't fancy either the winding road from Yala or entering via Malaysia.

Sounds nice, what's there to do or see in Betong that's interesting? 

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22 minutes ago, Venom said:

Sounds nice, what's there to do or see in Betong that's interesting? 

Quite a lot for such a small place. Add in a more temperate climate. but still rather hot, it makes for a pleasant change. Of course, with the added attraction of a nightlife that was sorely lacking in Kelantan, but more laid back and not as obvious as, say, Golok which was just over the border from Kelantan.

 

Likely that the Chinese tourists are seen to be a long term target for the new airport. So, best get in early.......

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g1631898-Activities-Betong_Yala_Province.html

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3 hours ago, dabhand said:

Quite a lot for such a small place. Add in a more temperate climate. but still rather hot, it makes for a pleasant change. Of course, with the added attraction of a nightlife that was sorely lacking in Kelantan, but more laid back and not as obvious as, say, Golok which was just over the border from Kelantan.

 

Likely that the Chinese tourists are seen to be a long term target for the new airport. So, best get in early.......

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g1631898-Activities-Betong_Yala_Province.html

 

Living in Narathiwat, which is less than 200 km from Betong as the crow flies, it is still a looong ride through the mountains. I was kinda hoping for a NAW-Betong flight but that doesn't seem to be in the works, as it's probably not worth it.

Betong was always pretty laid-back indeed and there are many tourist hotspots around, the newest one being the Aiyoeweng Skywalk.

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  • 1 month later...

The latest news is that the opening of the airport has been postponed for an indefinite time.

There's talk it won't open before 2022 l, if at all.

No airline has shown any concrete interest and obviously people aren't gonna fly to Betong if it's still a ghost town.

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