U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City

U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City

Detailed concept masterplan and airport terminal design for an ambitious Public-Private Partnership Project in Thailand.

U-Tapao International Airport is located in the Pla subdistrict of the Baanchang district in the province of Rayong. It occupies an area of land approximately 1040 hectares (6,500 rai, 2,570 acres) in size and spans from the Baan Chang to Sattahip districts in Rayong.

One Works was recently appointed by GMR Group, Thai AirAsia and other stakeholders to develop an extensive concept masterplan to create one of the most innovative new airports and multi-modal transport hubs in Asia. The detailed proposal formed part of the teams bid to invest Bt270 billion in the construction of the third passenger terminal, ground transportation centre, logistics and cargo complex, cargo village for a free trade zone and a commercial centre.

The PPP Project was designed to provide the main anchor and pivot by which the Eastern Economic Corridor for Innovation (EECi) can achieve its full potential to bring new competitiveness and prosperity to Thailand. U-Tapao aims to establish itself as the third main international airport in Thailand for business expansions, as well as to better facilitate the establishment of a Special Economic Zone in anticipation of the EEC expansion. In addition, it this will serve a passenger link to Don Muang International Airport and Suvarnabhumi International Airport, while simultaneously supporting growth as a regionally important aviation hub.

Key Facts

Client: Confidential
Location: Pattaya and Rayong, Thailand
Year: 2019
Site Area: 525.000 m2
Services: Airside Design, Airside Capacity Assessment and Layout, Architectural Design, Concept Design, Cost Consultancy, Land Use Planning, Urban Design
U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City
U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City

An airport with a sense of place

Designs for the terminal building and airside facilities ensure the expansion of U-Tapao International Airport (UIA) can ultimately reach the 60-75 MAP required to meet demand in this rapidly growing market. Our design proposal, position UTP as a state-of-the-art, sustainable transport hub that will become the premier node of transport, commerce and culture on Thailand’s eastern seaboard. This highly intuitive and visionary airport will enable Thailand’s aviation industry to grow; promote public and private sector innovation; and enchant passengers and visitors with a unique customer experience reflective of traditional and contemporary Thai values, honoring Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, Prince of Chumphon and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and bringing pride to the people of Thailand.

U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City

Our proposal for the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) was to set UTP as one of the most innovative and recognizable new airport terminals in Asia. The iconic design of the terminal, inspired by the traditional mechanical yor in nearby coastal towns in the Rayong Province, reflects the uplifting aspirations of Thailand and the contemporary ambitions of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to strengthen the identity and competitiveness of the region.

In the true sense of Thai hospitality, the PTB has been designed to put the passenger first – creating an inviting environment where the passenger can relax and appreciate Thailand’s people-oriented services and culture as part of their journey. Natural light diffused through overhead skylights, lush interior trees and vegetation, and a vibrant retail / food & beverage offer that is in the spirit of Thai street food which is ‘accessible to everyone’ are combined to amplify a local sense of comfort, spaciousness and well-being within the terminal. Walking times have been reduced by rationally arranging all airside and landside transfer points radially around the central PTB, affording passengers more time to dine, shop and relax.

U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City

Eastern Airport City

The landside expansion of U-Tapao International Airport (Eastern Airport City) has been designed to create a new large-scale commercial gateway in the Ban Chang / Sattahip landscape that will spark commercial growth, promote trend-setting lifestyle and technology innovation, positively influencing the development of the region. The UIA Airport City, or Aerocity concept design has been developed on the following key guidelines:

  • proximity of the passenger terminal to wider facilities;
  • inter-modality and high level of accessibility, both locally and regionally;
  • functional mix of buildings based on receptive, tertiary, catering, retail and leisure activities;
  • high architectural detail reflective of Thai-culture;
  • reduced environmental impact;
  • high sustainability standards (LEED/TREES principles);
  • high integration of public areas - private buildings.
U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City

The comprehensive mixed-use UIA Aerocity masterplan will not only serve the needs of travelers to and from the airport, but will also deliver contemporary homes, shopping, workplaces, galleries, markets, hotels, restaurants and pedestrian streets - bringing together everything a genuine community needs to thrive. The centrally-located Smart Eco Hub Retail area and Culture Village will provide a unique edutainment component, offering passengers on layover flights or for tourists arriving or departing with extra time to experience the culture, cuisines, costumes and heritage of the diverse Thai Provinces and pan-ASEAN countries.

With significant investment being made in increasing transport connectivity across the country through major projects such as Eastern HSR, the masterplan has been designed to provide outstanding intermodal connectivity via the Ground Transportation Centre and High-Speed Rail station, promoting long-term improvements in the use of sustainable modes of transport. Together, with a comprehensive marketing the UIA Aerocity masterplan is designed to create a range of attractive commercial opportunities to support growth across the Ban Chang region, as well as to support the needs and requirements of UIA, visitors travelling into the area and the local community.

U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City

Utilizing the benefits of BIM

The design proposal was developed in BIM to address a number of key challenges relating to the project - most importantly: through a live working model, we were easily able to overcome the logistical challenges of developing the design across multiple offices and provide a clear and accurate cost model at each phase of development to support the overarching business plan; with a huge range of stakeholders involved in the PPP projects, clear visualizations and walk-throughs were established at each stage of development; due to the importance of connectivity (both local and national) and considering the fast paced nature of the project., we were able to use the benefits of a live model to test a range of scenarios relating to the HSR connection and the impact that this had on existing infrastructure and commercial land.