Koh Lanta is an island district in Krabi Province, Thailand. There are two main islands that make up the bulk of this island group. Ko Lanta Yai (the main tourist island) is the 8th largest island in Thailand, and if all of the islands of Lanta were counted as one area that would put it in the top 5.
The two largest islands in Thailand (Phuket and Ko Samui) have an airport, so has Koh Lanta ever considered building an airport? I have not found any records that suggest it has ever been proposed, though it surely has been considered by people who consider these things. Its topography and proximity to an airport in the same province would have eliminated any serious consideration.
Ko Lanta Yai
Ko Lanta Yai is the largest island and it’s also where the tourism activity is, so that would be a natural first candidate. Once you go to Ko Lanta Yai and drive around the island you will soon see why an airport has not been considered. The mountainous interior that runs from north to south down the spine of Ko Lanta Yai stops any consideration of an airport. You can also see that just by looking at the satellite view on Google Maps.
Not that geographical restrictions have deterred other islands from trying to build an airport. There is an unfinished airport in Ko Pha-ngan, which stopped construction after it was found that they built into a national park. That airport would have a runway of 1100 metres, which is only suitable for the small aircraft that Kan Air (the builder of the airport) operates. Koh Samui has a runway length of 1800 metres, which can accommodate 737 aircraft. Phuket has a runway of 3000 metres, which can accommodate long-haul aircraft such as the 747 and 777.
Ko Lanta Noi
There is land on Ko Lanta Noi where you could build an airport, but even in this relatively undeveloped area, it would still require buyouts of hundreds of small lots of land.
There is a precedent in Southeast Asia of a private company buying land to build an airport. The San Miguel Corporation of the Philippines quietly went about buying land in Bulacan, then when it had the land it proposed to build what will be the New Manila Airport.
Koh Lanta is in Krabi Province, and the closest airport is Krabi Airport, which is about 67 km from Ko Lanta Yai. With a proposed bridge connecting Ko Lanta Yai and Ko Lanta Noi, it would then be possible to drive from Krabi Airport to Ko Lanta Yai without using a ferry. Having two airports in the same province in such close proximity would eliminate any future proposal from the government.
Map Of Koh Lanta
This map shows the only place in Koh Lanta where you could possible build an airport, along the the future new bridge and proximity to Krabi Airport that would make building an airport redundant.
[Map of Koh Lanta.]