Phuket's Alter Ego Bali Gears Airport For 25 Million Passengers
I'm sitting on AirAsia on the direct flight back to Phuket after another brief sojourn to the Island of the Gods.
Perhaps the most significant development aside from the lightening quick construction of the behemoth new mega hotel The Mulia in Nusa Dua is about the island's airport expansion.
Set to be completed in time for the Bali APEC 2013 Conference the mix of new building and improvements will increase the stated passenger handling capacity to 25 million.
According to the Jakarta Post the new international terminal will be a whopping double the size of the existing facility where the current domestic terminal is located.
Immigration counters (Phuket International Airport please take note) will increase by the current 12 with another 20 coming on stream including 35 visa on arrival counters.
Total passenger traffic, combining international and domestic arrivals and departures hit a report 11.5 million in 2010. Phuket is anticipating coming close to 8 million this year.
New baggage handling and security systems are being touted as the same used in Singapore's uber Changi Airport.
While the big APEC event is pushing up momentum, questions have to be raise whether AoT's Phuket airport upgrade will fall short of the new standards coming in Bali.