Passenger traffic through Thailand's six main airports showed robust growth in the fiscal year to last month, climbing 20.4% over the previous year to 86.13 million.
Aircraft movements increased by 16.5% to 559,397, according to preliminary figures from Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).
The flourishing budget airlines, Thailand's popularity as a tourism destination (particularly among Chinese), the absence of political unrest and the expanded domestic network were credited for the rise in traffic at AoT airports.
The year saw 54.26 million international travellers and 31.87 million domestic passengers passing through those airports, which had 316,509 international aircraft movements and 242,888 domestic flights.
Suvarnabhumi, the country's gateway airport, continued to dominate traffic volume with 50.90 million passengers and 287,997 aircraft movements, accounting for 59% of overall passenger numbers and 51.5% of all take-offs and landings.
It was followed by Bangkok's other airport, Don Mueang, which largely served discount airlines, with 15.56 million passengers and 135,976 movements.
Phuket airport recorded 10.98 million passengers with 70,198 flights.
Chiang Mai had 5.17 million passengers and 41,295 flights, while Hat Yai had 2.47 million passengers and 17,056 flights, and Chiang Rai 1.05 million passengers and 6,882 flights.
Suvarnabhumi is served by 107 international airlines with scheduled flights and the airport connects Bangkok with more than 150 cities around the world.
The top five international arrivals to Suvarnabhumi by country are from China, Japan, India, South Korea and Russia.
Meanwhile, AoT chairman Sqn Ldr Sita Divari said a 62.5-billion-baht project is underway to raise Suvarnabhumi's passenger capacity from 45 million to 60 million a year by 2016.
The expansion is at the design stage and is due to finish in April next year, allowing construction to start in August 2014.
AoT is moving ahead to reopen Don Mueang's Terminal 2 and upgrade other facilities to raise the airport's passenger capacity from 18.5 million to 30 million a year by late next year.
Expansion of Phuket airport, costing more than 5 billion baht, is advancing, with completion scheduled for 2015.
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