BANGKOK, June 19 (Reuters) - Thailand’s government on Friday signed a 290 billion baht ($9.36 billion) agreement with a consortium of local firms to upgrade and expand U-Tapao airport and its surrounds and turn it into a third international gateway for Bangkok.
It is part of a major government infrastructure project in its eastern industrial zone and will make U-Tapao a third commercial hub serving the Thai capital and its industrialised eastern seaboard, after the main Suvarnabhumi airport and low-cost terminal, Don Mueang.
It also covers construction of Airport City adjacent to the airport, a centre for logistics and supporting industries such as aircraft maintenance, repair, aviation training and fuel storage.
U-Tapao is located about two hours by road from Bangkok and a separate plan to create a rail link has been approved.
The consortium, BBS Joint Venture, comprises Bangkok Skytrain operator, BTS Holdings Pcl, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Pcl and Bangkok Airways Pcl ($1 = 30.9700 baht) (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty)