Thai Airways Airbus A350 aircraft at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan

Expansion plans for Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in Thailand

Amidst the rebounding waves of post-pandemic tourism, Thailand’s Airports of Thailand (AOT) is poised to embark on a monumental journey of expansion, investing approximately US$4.8 billion to catapult its main airports into a new era of capacity and efficiency.

AOT plans major expansions of Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports

At the forefront of this endeavor is Suvarnabhumi Airport, slated to undergo its most extensive transformation since its inauguration in 2006. With the introduction of two new runways and a state-of-the-art terminal, the airport’s annual capacity is set to soar to 135 million travelers, more than doubling its current throughput of 60 million.

Meanwhile, Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok is set for a facelift of its own, with plans for a new international terminal alongside renovations to the existing infrastructure. This overhaul, estimated at 36 billion baht, will elevate the airport’s capacity to 50 million passengers annually by 2030, up from the current 30 million, primarily catering to regional and budget carriers.

In an interview, Mr. Kerati Kijmanawat, president of AOT, underscored the company’s commitment to self-finance these ambitious projects, with bank loans only considered as a last resort. AOT’s fiscal prowess is evident, with net income projected to more than double, reaching 21 billion baht by the end of the fiscal year.

Looking ahead, AOT is eyeing the opportunity to bid for the construction of two new airports proposed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, each estimated at 70 billion baht. These potential gateways in Chiang Mai and the Andamans could further solidify Thailand’s position as a regional aviation and logistics hub.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s vision of transforming Thailand into an aviation and tourism powerhouse hinges on AOT’s ability to enhance passenger capacity and experience. Efforts to streamline immigration procedures and deploy automated systems aim to ensure a seamless journey for the millions of visitors who contribute significantly to the country’s GDP.

Despite the strides made, challenges loom, particularly from neighboring airports like Singapore’s Changi. AOT acknowledges the imperative of elevating Suvarnabhumi’s global standing, currently ranked 58th, to remain competitive on the regional stage.

Chiang Mai Airport Plans Expansion to Boost Passenger Capacity

Reflecting on the tumultuous impact of the pandemic, Mr. Kerati emphasized the need for expanded capacity to avoid past overcrowding woes and uphold passenger satisfaction. As Thailand looks beyond recovery towards becoming a pivotal aviation hub, AOT remains steadfast in its mission to not only welcome returning travelers but to excel as a cornerstone of connectivity and convenience.

-Thailand News (TN)

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