International flights could be landing in Hua Hin by as early as the end of this year. The airports authority (AO) has received a proposal from Air Asia to operate daily flights between Hua Hin and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If given the green light, it will mean the first commercial use of the airport that is just a handful of kilometers from the city center and could be a major boon for tourism.

Darun Saengchai of the AO said that Air Asia wants landing fees and rental charges for airport facilities waived in the initial stages of operation to get the route started. If agreed by the AO and related agencies, the first international flights could be coming to the resort by the end of 2017.

A decision on the Air Asia proposal is expected to be made in the next two weeks.

Darun said that Hua Hin airport is ready for business with no more building necessary to make it operational for commercial flights.

“The airport can handle 300 passengers per hour,” he said. “The proximity to the town is a major bonus for travelers”.

He said that some matters will need to be sorted: top of the list are the need for immigration and customs facilities as flights to KL are international. And discussions need to take place as to exactly what transport arrangements are put in place to ferry passengers from the airport to local destinations.

Commercial flights from KL could open up the resort to tourism directly from Malaysia, as well as make Hua Hin a stepping off point for travelers heading south.

– Daily News