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Srettha’s Vision for Phayao: Transforming Northern Thailand with a New Airport Dream

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Imagine waking up to the news that a vibrant, bustling first-tier province might just materialize in the northern reaches of Thailand. The heart of this transformation? A state-of-the-art airport envisioned to paint the skies of Phayao, a hidden gem in the northern tapestry of Thailand, waiting for its moment in the sun. This tale begins on a rather unassuming Monday, as Srettha, an influential figure, gathers the press, under the whispering shadows of the potential site for this monumental project in Phayao’s Dok Kham Tai district.

“Patience is a virtue,” Srettha articulates with a visionary glint in his eye, addressing the eager residents of Phayao. “Anticipation is brewing, and the blueprint of your future is being meticulously crafted.” He unveils the ongoing saga of the much-discussed airport, now in the throes of a feasibility study. This isn’t just any construction project; it’s a beacon of hope, promising to elevate Phayao from the shadows of a second-tier province to bask in the limelight as a first-tier superstar. “Witnessing the untapped potential of Phayao firsthand has only cemented my belief in its destined greatness,” Srettha continues, his words painting a future as bright as the northern lights.

Ensuring the dreams of Phayao’s residents don’t crumble under the weight of empty promises, Srettha emphasizes a pledge. The government’s touchstone will be prudence, safeguarding the sanctity of taxpayers’ hard-earned money while nurturing the seeds of this ambitious project. The tendrils of development and progress will be entrusted to the adept hands of Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit and Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow, the stewards of this transformative odyssey.

Amidst the whirlwind of expectations and meticulous planning, Thamanat, a minister with a vision as vast as the proposed runway, shares a whisper of what the future holds. The Phayo governor, armed with proposals and dreams, stands on the threshold of presenting this monumental project to the Cabinet. A nod from the esteemed Cabinet could send ripples of change, ushering in an era where the skies above Phayao are traced by flights of progress. A substantial fund of 100 million baht hangs in the balance, poised to unlock the secrets of an Environmental Impact Assessment, the beacon guiding this venture toward sustainability and harmony with nature.

The roots of this dream stretch back to the corridors of the Department of Airports, where the seeds of Phayao’s future were sown in March 2021. A year of study, analysis, and planning has culminated in a vision where 2,812 rai of land, cradled between Don Srichum and Ban Tham subdistricts, morphs into a gateway connecting Phayao to the world. The price tag of progress? A cool 4.42 billion baht. Yet, for the people of Phayao and the visionary leaders steering this dream, it’s an investment in a future where Phayao not only maps itself as a first-tier province but as a heart that beats at the rhythm of development, culture, and boundless possibility.


  1. Nattapon March 18, 2024

    I’m all for development, but rushing into a project of this magnitude seems risky. We’ve seen too many ‘visionary’ projects turn into white elephants. Let’s hope this doesn’t become another.

    • Sirisak March 18, 2024

      Risk is part of any major development, Nattapon. Without taking bold steps, regions like Phayao will remain overlooked. It’s time for change.

      • Nattapon March 18, 2024

        I agree with the need for change, Sirisak. My worry is the accountability on such a massive spend. Ensuring it delivers on its promise is crucial.

    • JJExplorer March 18, 2024

      Anyone thought about the environmental impact? We’re talking about a major construction project. The EIA is mentioned but these assessments can be surprisingly lenient.

      • EcoWarrior101 March 18, 2024

        Exactly my thought, JJExplorer! It’s not just about the construction but the long-term ecological footprint. Hope they really take the EIA seriously.

  2. GraceLim March 18, 2024

    This could be a gamechanger for Phayao! Increased accessibility might bring much-needed tourism and business opportunities. Excited to see how it turns out.

    • LocalJoe March 18, 2024

      As a Phayao resident, I’m both excited and worried. Tourism sounds great but at what cost? Our quiet town’s charm is at stake.

      • GraceLim March 18, 2024

        It’s a valid concern, LocalJoe. Balancing growth with preserving the local charm is key. Hopefully, the planners keep this in mind.

  3. PolicyWonk88 March 18, 2024

    Relying on Thamanat Prompow and Suriya Juangroongruangkit for this project raises eyebrows. Both have been controversial figures. Are they the right stewards for such a transformative venture?

    • TrueThai March 18, 2024

      Their past shouldn’t shadow the potential benefits of the project. Let’s focus on the future of Phayao, not political drama.

    • WatcherOnTheWall March 18, 2024

      It’s naïve to separate politics from development, TrueThai. Leadership matters, especially in projects that shape the future of a province.

      • PolicyWonk88 March 18, 2024

        Exactly, WatcherOnTheWall. Leadership integrity affects project success. We need a transparent process to ensure this doesn’t turn into a misadventure.

  4. JetSetter March 18, 2024

    Dream big, why don’t we? Criticism aside, Phayao stepping up to a first-tier province is an exciting prospect. Anything that brings more connectivity to the north is okay by me!

    • BudgetTraveler March 18, 2024

      Exciting for tourists, maybe. But what about the locals? Development should benefit the original residents first and foremost, not just visitors.

  5. SimpleSam March 18, 2024

    Will they consider the strain on local resources? An airport means increased water and energy consumption, not to mention the strain on local services.

    • OptimistOllie March 18, 2024

      Developments can also bring improvements to local infrastructure, including resources management. It’s not always a negative sum game.

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