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Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport: The Gateway to Eastern Thailand

Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport: The Gateway to Eastern Thailand

Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport is a major airport in Thailand located in the province of Rayong, approximately 30 kilometers south of the famous beach resort city of Pattaya. Originally built as a military airbase during the Vietnam War, Utapao has since been transformed into a commercial airport, serving both domestic and international flights. In this article, we will explore the history, features, and services of Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport.

History of Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport

Utapao Airbase was established in 1966, during the Vietnam War, as a military base for the United States Air Force. After the war, the Thai government took over the base and used it for military purposes until 2006. In the same year, the Thai government announced its plans to develop the airbase into a commercial airport to serve the growing tourism industry in the eastern region of Thailand. The first commercial flight from Utapao took off in 2008, and the airport has since become a popular hub for low-cost carriers and charter flights.

Facilities and Services

Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport features a modern and well-equipped terminal building that offers a range of facilities and services to passengers. The terminal building is designed to handle up to 3 million passengers per year and features a variety of shops, restaurants, and duty-free stores. There are also currency exchange booths, ATMs, and a post office located within the terminal building.

The airport offers both short-term and long-term parking facilities, as well as car rental services for those who wish to explore the surrounding area. Other services available at the airport include baggage storage, wheelchair assistance, and a VIP lounge for business class passengers.

Airline and Destination Options

Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport is primarily served by low-cost carriers and charter flights. The airport is a hub for several budget airlines, including Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, and Nok Air. These airlines offer a range of domestic and international flights to destinations across Asia, including China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

In addition to these budget airlines, Utapao also serves several charter airlines that offer seasonal flights to popular holiday destinations in Europe, such as Russia and Scandinavia. The airport has also recently added a new terminal dedicated to private jets and VIP flights, further expanding its services for high-end travelers.

Conclusion

Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport is a significant hub for tourism and travel in the eastern region of Thailand. With its modern facilities, affordable airline options, and expanding destination network, the airport offers an attractive alternative to Bangkok’s busy Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. Whether you are planning a beach vacation in Pattaya or exploring the scenic beauty of Rayong province, Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport provides a convenient and comfortable gateway to Eastern Thailand.

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