Cabinet approves new runway at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Thailand’s cabinet has approved the construction of a third runway at New Bangkok International Airport, or Suvarnabhumi, as part of its expansion and upgrade plans for the three major airports in the Greater Bangkok area, marking another step forward in the Kingdom’s advanced infrastructure development.
Although the Cabinet gave the go-ahead for the new runway, that approval is conditional on the project passing an environmental and health impact assessment from the National Environment Board, according to Werachon Sukondhapatipa, the deputy government spokesperson.
As part of its goal to raise Thailand’s role as an aviation and aerospace hub, the government is expanding Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, and U-Tapao International Airport in the Eastern Economic Corridor adjacent to the Thai capital. U-Tapao will also be part of “Aeropolis,” a center for aerospace and aviation research and development that will include a maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility with investment from THAI Airways International and Airbus of the European Union.
Currently, Suvarnabhumi’s two runways can handle 63 flights every hour, but if one runway needs to shut down then capacity drops by 50 percent. Once the third runway is complete, the airport will be able to manage 94 flights an hour.
The $660 million runway project should see construction start later this year and be complete by 2021, Werachon said.
Plans are also underway to build a second passenger terminal. When all elements have come to fruition, the airport should have a capacity of 90 million passengers per year. Suvarnabhumi opened in 2006 with a capacity of 45 million passengers per year.