14 March 2017
THAILAND: Overseas Investors Sought for US$11.6 Billion Aviation Upgrade
Overseas companies will now be eligible to operate airport management services in Thailand as part of the government’s reform of the country’s aviation sector. The planned Thai Baht 406 billion (US$11.6 billion) programme is intended to upgrade and expand the country’s three international (two in Bangkok), 10 regional and 26 city airports over the next 10 years.
Additionally, foreign investors will be allowed to own shares of 51% or more in the U-Taup aircraft maintenance centre. Until recently, only minority foreign ownership of any undertaking in the domestic aviation sector was permitted, except with prior government approval.
The airport reform plan comes as part of the government’s bid to develop Thailand into a regional aviation hub for Southeast Asia. This will see the country’s annual air traveller capacity raised from its current 130 million passengers to 277 million by 2027. The government aims to fund the project through a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, full details of which have yet to be announced.