Deputy Minister of Transport Pichet Sathirachawal on May
2 chaired a meeting to follow up the progress of promoting Chiang Mai as the
regionís tourism hub. It was attended by representatives from Chiang Mai
Provincial Authority, Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, and
Chiang Mai Provincial Transportation Office.
Minister of Transport Pichet Sathirachawal said he hopes that during the
high season, 100 flights a day will be passing through Chiang Mai Airport.
Pichet assigned a sub-committee, led by Chiang Mai
Governor Pisit Khetphasook, to work on the problems and study the
feasibility of the plan which is hoped can become a concrete project as soon
as possible. The objective is to start this October, at the beginning of
high tourism season. It is also hoped that more than 100 flights will be
landing and taking off at the Chiang Mai Airport each day.
To support this project, the government has allowed
Malaysia Airlines and Silk Air to bid for concessions and operate their new
flight routes using Chiang Mai International Airport.
"Some airlines were prepared and getting ready to
launch their flight operations, with Chiang Mai as the aviation hub, but are
now waiting until the SARS crisis ends," said Deputy Minister Pichet.
He also indicated that charter flights from European
countries and Australia will use Chiang Mai International Airport as one of
their best destinations.
Future conferences are going to be held every month, following up the
results from both private sectors and government organizations.