AoT fast-track Suvarnabhumi expansion amid soaring passenger traffic

Picture courtesy of Pattaya Mail

The Airports of Thailand (AoT) is altering the Suvarnabhumi International Airport master plan to hasten the development of terminal expansion projects, in response to the rapidly increasing demand from passenger traffic.

The revised master plan, which outlines the course of action for the next decade, aims to accelerate the progression of main terminal expansion and the construction of new ones to align with the swift uptick in air traffic, stated AoT director, Kirati Kijmanawat.

Three key projects underpin the master plan: the expansion of the western terminal, the construction of a new southern terminal, and the development of the Satellite 2 building. The revision of the master plan will culminate in the decision of which project will be launched first, and once selected, the design phase of the project will begin. This phase is estimated to take roughly a year, with construction projected to commence in 2026.

The expansion of the eastern side of Suvarnabhumi Airport’s main terminal, approved for 10 billion baht, is progressing as planned. The design of the construction blueprint for this expansion project has been adjusted. The tendering process for construction firms is expected to open at the latest by August.

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This expansion will elevate the airport’s total capacity by 15 million passengers, from the current 60 million. This year’s passenger traffic is projected to surpass 65 million, a figure nearing the pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels.

This ambitious project intends to increase the main terminal area by 60,000 square metres and includes the construction of a four-storey office building, a car park, and a walkway platform linking to the main terminal.

Southern terminal

The southern terminal project will eventually need to be constructed due to the continual surge in air travel demand. This project is estimated to span about four years, and it’s only a matter of time before it seeks government approval and commences.

The country’s second-largest hub, Don Mueang International Airport, noted for serving mostly low-cost airlines on both domestic and international routes, has also seen progress in its ongoing expansion. The design of the latest development plan for Don Mueang Airport is set to be finalised next year.

The AoT has set aside 36 billion baht to fund the project, which involves the construction of a new international terminal where the now-defunct domestic terminal stands. The existing international terminals 1 and 2 will be combined into one and repurposed as a domestic terminal.

The AoT governs the operations of six primary airports: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai airports. The combined traffic across these six airports is expected to reach 140 million passengers this year, a figure that edges close to pre-pandemic statistics, reported Bangkok Post

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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