The Phuket International Airport HKT/VTSP ranks second in Thailand in terms of passenger traffic and cargo volume. Located north of Phuket Island, the airport is critical to the success of the local tourism industry. It has flown millions of domestic and international tourists, who come to the island every year for its world-renowned beaches, ancient temples, vibrant entertainment options, and other attractions.
Elevated at 25 meters, Phuket International has one asphalt runway measuring 3000 meters in length and 45 meters in width. The runway can accommodate at least 10 flights hourly. At a maximum, the airport can handle 24 flight operations per hour.
The baggage claim area has allocated two conveyors each for domestic arrivals, international arrivals, and departures. There are two terminals connected by a covered walkway that provides services to arriving and departing passengers. Terminal 2 handles charter and low-cost flights while Terminal 1 services most international flights. General airport activity peaks during the months of December to May due to the influx of domestic and international visitors.
The airport serves as a secondary hub for Thai Air Asia, a carrier created through the joint partnership of Thailand’s Asia Aviation and Malaysia’s AirAsia. The airline serves several domestic and major cities in Asia, including Kuala Lumpur. The airport has international flights to several major European cities in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and France. Several airline carriers from Asia and Oceania also land in Phuket International, like Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Dragonair, Jetstar, Malaysian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Pacific Blue, and several others.
There are four currency exchange bureaus at the first floor of the airport. During peak months, the bureaus are usually busy; the best alternative is to check out any of the 7 ATM machines inside the building. Facilities and amenities are available for disabled passengers. There are elevators, restrooms, telephones, and parking spaces specially designated for those with specific conditions.
In terms of dining and eating options, a Thai Airways Restaurant on the third floor serves local and European cuisine. Additional dining and snack bar selections are available for those who are looking for a simpler and cheaper fare. For shopping options, a duty-free store is conveniently located just right after the immigration booth. There are more or less 10 retail stores offering a selection of duty-free items.
Phuket Airport is just 32 kilometers away from the island’s administrative center, which is Phuket town. Visitors arriving at the airport can choose from several transportation options to take them to Phuket, Chalong Bay, and other local destinations. The booth for the metered yellow taxis is located just at the exit of the airport building. Minibus services offer cheaper rides to Phuket town and are basically better than the airport government buses. The limousine service provides the most expensive option; tickets for the ride are sold on the first floor of the terminal building. For those who are confident enough to drive on their own, two-car rental service booths are also located just outside the arrival area.