Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot led a group of members of the private sector to observe the Don Mueang Airport to see if it could be transformed into a retail-wholesale center.
Mr Alongkorn said the center could attract international buyers and buying agents. If possible, an exhibition hall for trade shows, a convention hall, offices for buying agents, and a cargo could be built as well. He added over 2.9 million Thai SMEs could benefit from this center.
Initially, representatives from the logistics sector have shown interests in the project, hoping that entrepreneurs from various industries would utilize the center.
The Deputy Commerce Minister further stated that both the public and private sectors agreed to use around 65,000 square meters of space for a cargo, using 1 billion baht budget. He believed that even when the new government comes in, the project could still be continued as it could become a leading ASEAN trade center.
The Transport Ministry has received the master infrastructure development plan for Suvarnabhumi Airport.
It suggests the discontinuation of Don Muang Airport in 2015.
Permanent-Secretary for Transport Supoj Saplom said his ministry has received the master plan for infrastructure development at Suvarnabhumi Airport from the International Civil Aviation Organization or ICAO.
He noted that ICAO’s plan corresponds to the suggestion by International Air Transport Association, of a single airport.
Supoj added that the development plan consists of two phases.
The first phase involves a 22-billion-baht investment, from 2012 to 2015.
The second phase is from 2015 to 2020, with an investment value of 43.8 billion baht.
He said flights will continue to operate at Don Muang Airport until 2015, after which the old airport will be used as an aircraft maintenance depot, according to recommendations by the Airport of Thailand or AOT.