U-Tapao International Airport is located approximately 45 minutes from central Pattaya. It is a jointly utilised military and public airport which serves the areas of Pattaya and Rayong in Thailand.
U-Tapao International Airport is rapidly becoming a third destination airport for Thailand. The terminal building currently comprises a souvenir shop, coffee shop and restaurant, an internet café and tourist information desk. A second terminal which is currently being constructed will increase the initial airport capacity to over three million passengers per year. There is much to see and do near U-Tapao International Airport. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens are a popular local attraction. Nong Nooch is home to beautiful, sculpted themed gardens filled with elephants and temples. Venues of the world are showcased within a botanical theme, where visitors can explore European Renaissance Gardens, Stonehenge and 17th century French landscapes. The gardens are vast; therefore, hiring a bicycle is a wise idea. The orchid nurseries are home to over 650 species, the largest collection in Thailand. Other visitor activities include paddle boats, elephant rides and Thai dance displays. Buddha Mountain etched into the north face of Khao Chi Chan is another popular day trip. The 109-metre tall image was engraved into the rock in gold to commemorate the golden jubilee of the King of Thailand in 1996. Fun family days out can be enjoyed at Ramayana Water Park too. It’s Thailand’s biggest water theme park with 21 incredible rides, wave and activity pools to thrill visitors. Discover the elephants of the park, the floating market and experience nature among the lakes and rivers surrounding the parkland.
Reaching U-Tapao International Airport from Pattaya and vice versa is easy. A taxi or bus service is located at the exit to the terminal. They can organise transportation into Pattaya, Bangkok or to Koh Chang and Koh Samet. There are also car rental facilities located inside the terminal building.
U-Tapao is home to the Royal Thai Navy and the First Air Wing. The airport is also used as a maintenance facility for Thai Airways. The airport is earmarked to become an alternative gateway to the capital due to its proximity to Bangkok and prominent beach resorts. The airport operates domestic and International flights several times per week.