Suvarnabhumi Airport’s SAT-1 terminal set for soft takeoff in September

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Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok is set to soft launch its Satellite Airport Terminal 1 (SAT-1) in September, with a full opening planned for early next year. Airports of Thailand (AoT) president, Kerati Kijmanawat, stated that the new 216,000-square-metre facility, with a capacity for 28 aircraft parking bays, aims to address existing issues at the airport.

With the ability to accommodate 15 million passengers per year, SAT-1 will increase Suvarnabhumi’s annual passenger handling capacity to 60 million. The AoT board is expected to be informed of the soft opening plans later this month.

AoT is also accelerating work on the 40-billion-baht North Expansion project, which will serve as a separate domestic terminal from the main terminal and is expected to take five years to complete. As for the airport’s East Expansion project, work is anticipated to commence early next year, with completion set for 2027. This 7.8 billion baht project will provide capacity for an additional 15 million passengers, reported Bangkok Post.

Kerati Kijmanawat explained that each phase of the Suvarnabhumi Airport upgrade aligns with the International Air Transport Association’s assessment, which forecasts the airport will receive at least 65 million passengers per year in 2024 and a minimum of 95 million per year in 2028.

In addition, AoT is preparing for the commercial development of a 723-rai plot of land within the airport compound, in accordance with the Airport City development plan. A market-sounding activity is currently in progress, with a bidding contest tentatively scheduled for next year. Construction is expected to begin in 2025 and be completed between 2027 and 2028.

AoT also plans to enhance Suvarnabhumi Airport services, with some concessions to be reviewed to ensure passengers have more options when requiring services such as airport transfers.

The Suvarnabhumi Airport upgrade project, worth nearly 60 billion baht, was approved by a panel in 2021 to support the post-Covid-19 air industry recovery. Prior to the pandemic, the airport had exceeded its annual capacity of 45 million passengers. Under the current plan, three terminals—East Expansion, West Expansion, and North Expansion—are being developed to increase the airport’s passenger handling capacity by an additional 60 million.

Economy NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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