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Mae Hong Son to revive WWII airfields as tourist numbers soar

This northern province of Mae Hong Son- Thailand is considering re-opening three World War II-era airfields to cope with growing numbers of tourists…

This northern province of Mae Hong Son– Thailand is considering re-opening three World War II-era airfields to cope with growing numbers of tourists, provincial governor Suphot Laowansiri announced.

Under the proposal, airports will be opened in Pai, Khun Yuam and Mae Sariang districts – which all see a considerable number of tourists – at the beginning of next year.

Noting that upgrading the existing airfields would not require a huge amount of investment, Mr. Suphot said that the airports would service small groups of tourists using light aircraft.

The first airport to be opened will be Pai due to the district`s enormous tourism potential – indicated by the fact that foreign tourists changed Bt14 million in foreign currency at the local Krung Thai Bank last year and the fact that communications equipment at the airport is still in working order.

It is hoped that opening the Pai Airport will avoid problems of overcrowding at local hotels and guesthouses, as it will allow tourists to make daytrips to the district from the provincial capital.

Recently, a fleet of 30 four-seater aircraft, all containing Thai tourists, used the Pai Airport for the first time. Mr. Issaret Phusara, Head of the Provincial Tourism Coordination Centre, said that the airport was particularly challenging for flying enthusiasts due to its mountainous location. (TNA)–E006

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