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Kantarat Golf Course Transformation: The Future of Don Mueang Airport Unveiled

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Imagine a golf course where serpents slither and eagles glide overhead. This isn’t the beginning of a fanciful novel but the reality at Kantarat Golf Course, affectionately dubbed Sanam Ngu or ‘Field of Snakes’. Nestled between the bustling runways of Don Mueang Airport, this patch of greenery has become the center of a multimillion-dollar debate, captivating the attention of everyone from golf enthusiasts to government officials.

The plot thickens as the Airports of Thailand (AoT) finds itself on the verge of a significant transformation. The Kantarat Golf Course, a tranquil oasis amidst the roar of aircraft, has been earmarked for an audacious project that could reshape the future of Don Mueang Airport. With a potential price tag of three billion baht in compensation to the air force, this decision has everyone on the edge of their seats. Defence Ministry spokesman Jirayu Houngsub shed light on this financial conundrum at a press briefing that quickly became the talk of the town.

At a high-stakes meeting that felt more like a scene from a corporate thriller, AoT and an ad hoc committee ventured into discussions that could alter the airport’s landscape forever. Despite previous assurances that the golf course was untouchable, a sudden pivot now sees it envisioned as the connecting fabric between the airport’s twin runways, transforming into pedestrian pathways that promise to usher in an era of unprecedented connectivity.

Air Vice Marshal Tanachai Arkatwattana, the Royal Thai Air Force’s Director of Welfare, revealed the astronomical figure—a cool three billion—for a 30-year deal, breaking down to an annual compensation that knocked the socks off everyone in the room. This revelation was followed by a pivotal meeting between Minister of Transport Suriya Juangroongruangkit and Air Chief Marshal Phanpakdee Pattanakul, reminiscent of a strategic war room where the future of Thailand’s aviation was being sculpted.

Minister Suriya, with the poise of a seasoned diplomat, championed the government’s “Aviation Hub” policy. Visions of Don Mueang Airport bustling with 65 flights per hour danced in attendees’ heads, up from the current 55—a dream that could very well become a reality with the proposed changes. As if this wasn’t thrilling enough, Suriya also teased an infrastructure marvel—a ring road that promises to redefine mobility around the air force’s Wing 41 in the picturesque province of Chiang Mai.

The proposed roadway is not just a path but a journey through innovation, involving adjustments to the existing road, integrating cutting-edge security measures, and even burrowing under the airbase with an underpass. This project isn’t merely about transport; it’s about threading the needle between preserving security and embracing modernity.

Thus, as the sun sets over the Kantarat Golf Course, with its legacy and future hanging in the balance, this saga captures a pivotal moment in Thailand’s aviation and urban planning narrative. From whispered discussions in hallowed halls to the fervor of public debate, the journey of this verdant expanse from a golfers’ paradise to a cornerstone of Thai civil aviation is a tale of ambition, controversy, and the relentless pursuit of progress.


  1. SkyWatcher22 April 30, 2024

    Turning a unique golf course into just another pedestrian path seems like a monumental waste. Where’s the creativity? We’re losing a cultural icon for the sake of what? Slightly more convenience?

    • GreenCityFan April 30, 2024

      I couldn’t disagree more. The airport expansion is critical for economic growth. A golf course is nice, but it’s not going to drive the nation forward. We need to think bigger.

      • SkyWatcher22 April 30, 2024

        Sure, economic growth is important, but at what cost? Culture and unique landmarks make a place special. Not everything should be sacrificed for ‘progress’.

    • JaneD April 30, 2024

      But isn’t the golf course just for a privileged few anyway? Opening up the space could benefit far more people on a daily basis.

      • EagleEye77 May 1, 2024

        Privileged maybe, but it’s also about heritage. There’s a sense of history to Kantarat that simply can’t be replaced by another concrete path.

  2. TechBro April 30, 2024

    Three billion baht seems like a crazy amount just to eliminate a golf course. Surely, there’s a more cost-effective way to achieve the same goal without shelling out that much cash?

    • FinanceGuru May 1, 2024

      You’re missing the bigger picture. The investment could drastically improve airport operations and capacity. It’s not just about the golf course but enhancing infrastructure overall.

      • TechBro May 1, 2024

        Enhancements are fine, but the cost/benefit ratio needs serious scrutiny. There has to be a more efficient use of that budget.

  3. OldTimer April 30, 2024

    I remember when the golf course was the highlight of Don Mueang. To see it go will be the end of an era. Sometimes progress feels like losing more than we gain.

    • YoungPilot May 1, 2024

      Honestly, times change. The airport is congested and needs to evolve. It’s sad, but we can’t hang onto the past if it means sacrificing the future.

      • Conservationist May 1, 2024

        There must be a middle ground where the airport can expand without completely erasing its past. Why not incorporate elements of the golf course into the new design?

  4. PlaneJane May 1, 2024

    Has anyone considered the environmental impact of this transformation? We’re talking about displacing local wildlife and potentially harming local ecosystems.

    • EcoWarrior May 1, 2024

      Exactly my thoughts! This development could threaten the habitat of numerous species. Progress shouldn’t come at the expense of the environment.

      • DeveloperDude May 1, 2024

        Most big projects have environmental assessments. I’m sure they’ll find a way to mitigate any negative impacts. It’s the 21st century, after all.

      • GreenCityFan May 1, 2024

        It’s not just about checks and balances. It’s about valuing green spaces in urban environments. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.

  5. AvGeek May 1, 2024

    Anyone thought about the traffic this is going to generate? It’s already a nightmare getting to and from the airport. More flights per hour sounds great until you’re stuck in traffic for three hours.

    • RoadRager May 1, 2024

      Totally agree. It feels like they’re focusing on the air traffic without considering the impact on road traffic. There’s a bigger picture they’re missing.

      • UrbanPlanner May 1, 2024

        The article mentioned a ring road around Wing 41 as part of the project. It seems there’s an attempt to address the traffic issues, but the effectiveness remains to be seen.

  6. HistoryBuff May 1, 2024

    It’s fascinating to see history in the making. Don Mueang has been a cornerstone of Thai aviation for decades. This transformation could be its most significant chapter yet.

    • FutureIsNow May 1, 2024

      I think it’s about time. The airport’s role as a pioneer in aviation needs to evolve with the times. This project could be a landmark in its storied history.

      • OldTimer May 1, 2024

        Both of you have points, but it’s hard not to feel a sense of loss. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

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