BANGKOK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Thailand will begin construction on the 290-billion baht ($8.82 billion - RM38 billion) U-Tapao aviation city early this year, a government spokesperson has announced.
Smaller aviation cities are growing in popularity, such as Saudi Arabia's NEOM City in the Middle East, and now South-East Asia could soon have an aviation city too.
The project will generate 15,600 additional jobs in the first five years and drive growth in Thailand's aviation industry, Tipanan Sirichana said in statement.
The investment plan is slated to turn the Vietnam-war era U-Tapao airport into a new international airport linked up with a budget terminal, Don Muang airport, and the country's main Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The public-private project located in Thailand's industrial east will cover 1,040 hectares (2,570 acres) and is aimed at attracting tourists, said Tipanan.
The project named "Eastern Aviation City" will also include a free trade zone for cargo, an aviation training centre and aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities, a government website shows. ($1 = 32.8800 baht). - Reuters