A new satellite terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport, dubbed SAT-1, will be launched in a soft opening in September in a step toward major improvements in air passenger services, Airports of Thailand (AoT) director Kirati Kitmanawat said on Sunday.
SAT-1, with a floor space of 216,000 square metres, will have 28 aircraft parking bays. It will be equipped with the latest technology to make the boarding process more efficient to cope with the airport's expansion plans.
Mr Kirati said the new terminal is scheduled to be officially opened in early 2027.
As for the 40-billion-baht North Expansion project, Mr Kirati said it will include a new domestic terminal building completely separate from the existing main terminal building.
He said the project will be expedited so that it can be operational within the next five years. This terminal is intended to link air travel with the Don Mueang-Suvarnabhumi-Utapao high speed railway project.
Another plan to be carried out is the East Expansion project to enlarge the eastern section of Suvarnabhumi airport's main terminal with an area of about 60,000 square metres to increase the handling capacity of the country's main gateway by 15 million passengers a year. With a budget of 7,830 million baht, the construction will begin in early 2024 and is projected to be completed in 2027.
"The airport expansions are in line with the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s estimate that from 2024 Suvarabhumi airport will see at least 65 million passengers per year and the number will go up to 95 million in 2028," Mr Kirati said.
Moreover, the AoT is preparing to develop a 723-rai plot of land near Suvarnabhumi airport for commercial use under the Airport City and duty-free area development project.
The AoT is now in the process of taking opinions from potential investors. Bidding for the project is expected to be called in 2024. The construction work is expected to begin in 2025 and to be completed in 2027-2028.
Mr Kirati said the AoT also plans to review some service-providing contracts to reduce monopolistic practices so as to be able to provide services in premium, middle and general levels to give passengers more choices.