The Thai government is fast-tracking airport expansion in order to increase Thailand´s capacity for handling an increasing number of air passengers and promoting the country as a transport hub for Southeast Asia.
A government spokesperson recently announced plans to expand airports´ facilities during the upcoming high season in the fourth quarter of 2022 and beyond, in line with an expected increase of travelers.
The expansion projects involve several regional airports as well as the three international airports of Don Mueang airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan and U-tapao airport in Rayong. Work will be carried out by the Airports of Thailand (AoT) and the Department of Airports. These 3 airports are part of a larger infrastructure project which will link them with a high-speed railway in order to attract investors in the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.
Suvarnabhumi airport is being expanded to handle up to 120 million passengers per year, almost three times the current capacity of 45 million per year. Several facilities are being upgraded, and the Satellite Terminal 1 extension will provide 28 additional aircraft parking bays from the existing 51. The construction of a third runway is expected to be completed by 2022. The airport will also expand its passenger terminal east to provide an additional 66,000 m² area. The airport will also expand its passenger terminal north to provide 348,000 m² of additional space. The northern expansion project is expected to start in January 2023, with a June 2025 completion goal. A western expansion plan to provide 66,000 m² of additional space is also being studied.
A third terminal is to be constructed for Don Mueang airport, with 155,000 m² of additional space to accommodate 18 million more passengers a year. Currently, the airport can handle 30 million passengers per year. The new facility is expected to have 12 parking bays for aircraft.
U-tapao airport in Rayong will open its second passenger terminal in 2027. It is expected to accommodate up to 5 million passengers a year from the current capacity of about 1.5 million.
(Sources: The Bangkok Post; Thaiger)