Phuket International Airport is located 32km from downtown Phuket in Phuket Island's north. As a popular holiday destination, Phuket Airport plays a major role in the tourism industry of Thailand. As Thailand's second busiest airport, Phuket Airport services approximately 9.5 million passengers annually and has experienced strong growth in the last few years. The airport currently features a single asphalt runway measuring 3,000m x 45m and separate domestic and international terminals however the airport's increase in passengers has seen a USD $188 million upgrade commence. Expected to be completed in 2015, the multi-million dollar upgrade will see the renovation and expansion of the airport including refurbishing existing terminals, the erection of a new terminal and improvements of the airfield. As part of the upgrade, a rail link to the Krabi Airport is also being considered to help with congestion.
To service the high number of passengers arriving and departing Phuket Airport, the airport offers a number of ground transport options including metered taxis, limousines, minibuses, public bus services and an airport bus. The taxi stand is located directly outside the airport terminal and service Phuket and surrounding areas. Average fares are approximately 400 baht (AUD $14) to Phuket Town, 550 baht (AUD $19) to Patong, 600 baht (AUD $21) to Kata and Karon as well as a 100 baht (AUD $3.50) airport surcharge. The trip from the airport to Phuket takes approximately 30 minutes while the trip to Patong Beach is around 40 minutes. Travellers visiting Kata and Karon will take approximately one hour from the airport. There are also a number of car rental companies located in the Phuket Airport terminal who offer an easy and affordable way to explore Phuket at your own pace. Car hire is offered by a number of reputable providers including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, SixT and Thai Rent a Car.