Expansion of Suvarnabhumi airport begins July
Suvarnabhumi airport's 7.8-billion-baht expansion project is expected to begin in July with bidding to choose a contractor, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Tuesday.
Already approved by the cabinet, Airports of Thailand's (AoT) board and the government's committee on Suvarnabhumi airport's capacity enhancement, the so-called East Expansion project will take two years and five months to finish, said the minister.
When the expanded area is opened by March 2025, the airport will have the capacity to handle up to 65 million passengers per year, from 45 million passengers per year currently, he said.
This 44% increase in capacity is in line with the projected number of passengers using Suvarnabhumi airport by that year, he said.
King Power Suvarnabhumi Co, the duty-free concessionaire at the airport, has already handed over an area on the second floor of the airport's Food Stop for the expansion project, said Mr Saksayam.
The project will take up 66,000 square metres in space so to accommodate 108 more check-in counters, six sets of baggage conveyors and nine security checkpoints, said Kerati Kijmanawat, AoT's vice president.
AoT was also assigned at a past meeting of the airport capacity enhancement committee about the hiring of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to study and give advice on Suvarnabhumi's expansion plans, said Mr Saksayam.
The ICAO's findings and advice will be considered with findings from a study by the International Air Transport Association (Iata), particularly those concerning proposed future expansions on the western and northern sides of the airport, he said.
As for the East Expansion project, Iata has projected that Suvarnabhumi will by 2024 see a rise in the number of passengers to 65 million per year, the same level recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic began, said Mr Saksayam.
Iata then made recommendations that the airport be expanded to keep up with this expected growth in passenger numbers, he said.