Koh Samui Airport
When you fly to Samui, your holiday begins the moment you land. That's because Samui Airport has been created in the mood and style of the island itself, its low rise palm-thatched roofs and tropical gardens with their lofty coconut palms blending in perfectly with the exotic surroundings of one of the most beautiful islands on earth. The seamless way Samui Airport harmonies with the local environment has been acknowledged far and wide,and proves that man-made facilities can be attractive and efficient at the same time. The excellence of its design has been honoured with a number of environmental and awards,including First Place in the Outstanding Architecture 1998 Competition staged by the Siam Architects Association under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand. Samui Airport also won a Board of National Environment Award in 1989 for Aviation Environmental Protection and Awareness.
Designed by the Habita Company and open in 1989, Samui Airport represents a total investment of some 800 million baht. It covers an area of 500 rai on the northern end of Samui Island near Bophut Beach, and is only 20 minutes' drive from the main beach of Chaweng. Samui Airport has been a major factor in putting the island on the international tourist map. It was upgraded to customs airport to allow international traffic. The airport was the brainchid of Dr Prasert. Prasarttong-Osoth,President and CEO of Bangkok Airways,who had the vision and determination to build an airport on the island as a key element in establishing his airline. To some extent, economic considerations dictated the design of the airport, but the result has proved both successful and popular.
Bangkok Airways operates more than 40 flights a day on its Bangkok-Samui,Samui-Phuket,Samui-Pattaya(U-Tapao) ,Samui-Krabi and Samui-Singapore routes. Flying time between Bangkok and Samui is one hour, while the flights on its Samui-Phuket and Samui-Pattaya routes is under 45 minutes. In the days before Samui Airport was open,most visitors would have to travel to the island from Bangkok by rail or bus to Surat Thani and then by ferry to the island - a journey of 14 hours. With Samui firmly established as a major tourist destination, Bangkok Airways has plans to meet future demand for access to the island by extending the runway to 2,100 m. To achieve this goal, the airline will invest an additional not less than 200 million baht. It will be another important step in the successful partnership between Bangkok Airways and Samui Island.