Bangkok airport expansion set for July

The doors to the Kingdom will be opening even wider. The expansion of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, the main gateway to Thailand, is slated to start in July, with the two years-plus construction raising capacity to 65 million passengers a year, the Minister of Transport said last week.

Although global travel has fallen sharply because of the coronavirus pandemic, Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob said that the 44 percent increase in capacity would be needed by the time construction ends and is in line with forecasts for the amount of flights and traffic at that time.

The expansion plans were formulated with assistance and consultations from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also recommended expanding the airport’s capacity to 65 million passengers per year.

The project will take up over 710,000 square feet in space and will accommodate 108 more check-in counters, 6 sets of baggage conveyors and 9 security checkpoints, according to Kerati Kijmanawat, Vice President of Airports of Thailand (AoT) which manages Suvarnabhumi and several other of the Kingdom’s largest and most trafficked airports.

The go-ahead to expand Suvarnabhumi Airport at this time is a signal of confidence by the government that Thailand’s business and tourism sectors will thrive once again when the pandemic has passed. The Kingdom continues to keep the spread of the coronavirus under control, despite the high transmissibility of the omicron variant.

While Suvarnabhumi Airport is the Kingdom’s premier airport, Bangkok has three international airports in its immediate vicinity. The others are Don Muang International Airport, the first international gateway, and U-Tapao International Airport in neighboring Rayong province. The three are being connected to each other by a light rail system.

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