Bangkok Airways said it signed a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement for the Utapao Airport redevelopment.
The project aims to make Utapao Airport — located between the cities of Pattaya and Rayong, Thailand — as the third international airport in the country and a major aviation hub in the region.
"Bangkok Airways' board resolved to submit a proposal and enter into a public-private partnership agreement for reconstruction of Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor," a statement carried by Centre for Aviation (CAPA) said.
The carrier is a member of BBS Joint Venture which also includes BTS Group Holdings and Sino Thai Engineering and Construction.
The statement noted that Bangkok Airways will hold 45% of stocks amounting to THB4.1 billion (US$132 million) in the project and will sign a PPP agreement with the Eastern Economic Corridor Office on June 19.
The "aeropolis" project is expected to make Thailand into a regional aviation hub. It will also be linked to Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports and boost their handling capacity to up to 200 million passengers annually.
The redeveloped airport will include a 157,000-square-metre passenger terminal, apron and taxiway construction, a freight and logistics centre and a ground transportation centre.
Utapao will also include a high-speed train route linking Thailand's three major airports.
Bangkok Airways (BA) president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said the project will require a THB130 billion (US$4.2 billion) investment throughout its four phases until the planned completion in 2055.
The construction is expected to begin in 2021 and the first phase to be completed in 2024. The construction of a second runway is also expected to be done by the same year.
The agreement includes three years of project development and 47 years of operation and maintenance.