Utapao International Airport or Pattaya airport as it is also known (despite it being 40 mins away from Pattaya by car), is a small but growing regional airport on the Eastern Sea Board of Thailand. The airport itself is located on the large Navy Air base in Sattahip, and is a just a short drive from Jomtiem and Pattaya in one direction and Ban Chang and the city of Rayong in the other direction.
This small but fast growing regional hub has added numerous destinations in the past couple of years, and currently covers flights to pretty much all domestic airports and a number of international destinations in S.E. Asia, including Macau, Kuala Lumpur and mainland China to name a few. The fact that Utapao/Pattaya Airport serves a number of locations in South East Asia, makes Ban Chang and the surrounding area attractive to many ex-pats who's work takes them out of Thailand on a regular basis.
Although, Utapao is rapidly transitioning from a military air base to a civilian airport, at the time of writing it has the tremendous advantage of being a small airport. The pre-security lounge is a fairly large room with a couple of travel agents and cafe's etc and a small seating area. Once through security (which usually takes no more than 5 minutes) you arrive in a small departure lounge where you await your bus to the aircraft.
In addition to relatively fast airport security due to its small size, Utapao International Airport also offers some great deals and cheap flights, especially to domestic destinations. For example, a flight to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand is typically 2000-2500bhat return.
- Ban Chang - 10 Mins
- Sattahip - 10 Mins
- Jomtiem - 20 Mins
- Pattaya - 40 Mins
- Rayong - 40 Mins
- Bangkok - 2h40