AoT predicts 80% increase

Thai skies will become far busier over the next decade, with the numbers of air travellers and aircraft movements through the main airports nearly doubling from last year's levels.

Combined passengers passing through the six airports including Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang are expected to soar to 138 million in 2022, up by 82% from 2012's tally of 76 million.

Take-offs and landings are projected to reach 853,657 in 2022, up 354,163 from 2012, a 71% increase, according to the estimates by Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).

The bulk of passenger and aircraft traffic is expected to continue to go through Bangkok, and largely through Suvarnabhumi, because of its hub status.

The forecast is for 106 million passengers through the two Bangkok airports in 2022, representing 78% of all passengers that year. This contribution is almost unchanged from 2012 when both airports together handled 58.98 million, accounting for 77% of last year's combined passengers.

In terms of aircraft movements, both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang are projected to together take the lion's share in 2022 with 639,746 flight movements, or 75% of the forecast. Again, the contribution of Bangkok's airfields would be more or less the same as last year when they handled 379,319 movements, or 76% of the total.

The projections underscore the need for the state-controlled AoT to keep pace with the surge in air traffic demand by boosting the capacities of its airports.

About the author

Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business