AoT set to launch new terminal
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AoT set to launch new terminal

Suvarnabhumi eyes 33% more traffic

Suvarnabhumi director Kittipong Kittikachorn
Suvarnabhumi director Kittipong Kittikachorn

The Airports of Thailand (AoT) is soft-launching the Satellite 1 (SAT-1) terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Sept 28 after a trial put the system to an early test.

Suvarnabhumi director Kittipong Kittikachorn said the airport executed a full-scale trial with 180 mock passengers with their luggage to test operations at the SAT-1 satellite passenger terminal and the main terminal.

The trial was assisted by Thai Airways who provided its cabin crew and aircraft for the procedure.

The operation was also observed by Immigration Division 2, the Cargo Clearance Customs Bureau, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand and Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services, said Mr Kittipong.

He said the trial included a full-scale operation concerning aircraft, arriving and departing passengers, transfer passengers, baggage handling systems and cargo operation.

The next two trials will take place on Tuesday, operated by Thai AirAsia X and Worldwide Flight Services Bangkok Air Ground Handling Co Ltd, and on Sept 20 by Thai Vietjet, specifically for departing passengers on night flights, said Mr Kittipong.

Get to the back!: A long line forms at check-in counters during peak hours inside Suvarnabhumi Airport. The Satellite 1 (SAT-1) terminal is set for a soft launch on Sept 28 and there are hopes it will ease congestion at the main terminal as well as boost the airport's annual passenger handling capacity to 60 million. (Photo: AOT)

During the soft-opening period between Sept 28 and Oct 28, the SAT-1 terminal will be open to three airlines: Thai AirAsia X, VietJet Air and Emirates. The new terminal is expected to be fully operating by December this year in a bid to reduce congestion at the main terminal.

The SAT-1 will handle 15 million passengers a year, allowing Suvarnabhumi Airport to handle up to 60 million per year, a 33% jump, Mr Kittipong added.

The SAT-1 terminal has 28 contact gates, eight of which are designed to accommodate Code F aircraft (the double-decker A380 superjumbo jets) and 20 others for Code E aircraft (Boeing B747s).

The terminal's four-storey facility has a total floor area of 216,000 square-metres, with two underground floors housing the Automated People Mover (APM) train system and other systems.

The APM train system will link the SAT-1 and the current passenger terminal. The train, with a maximum speed of 80kph, can accommodate 210 passengers per train, or about 6,000 passengers per hour, he said, adding each trip takes three minutes.

Once the SAT-1 is open, international passengers will no longer be required to take shuttle buses to their gates.

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