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Suvarnabhumi: New runway by 2018

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With repeated problems handling airplanes & passengers, several expansion projects have started to make Bangkoks' international airport larger.

Photos above and below of the runway and the second photo of the subsided section of the western runway, foreground in the darker shade, after being fixed.

Click button to listen to Third Runway at Suvarnabhumi to download

AIRPORTS

Suvarnabhumi finally scheduled to get third runway

13/07/2012
Boonsong Kositchotethana, Deputy Editor Business

The long delayed plan to build a third runway at Suvarnabhumi airport, code-named BKK, has been greenlit as authorities now see the urgency of addressing the airport's overcrowding.

Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) is setting the scheme into motion, which was initially planned for right after BKK opened in September 2006, following instruction from Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan.

There were multiple disruptions at BKK in the past month. A section of BKK's western runway subsided on July 5, which following the closure of the eastern runway for overlay since June 11 caused flight delays. Then on June 21, the radar system broke down from 6.14 to 7.12pm, crippling flights and causing diversions to other airports.

BKK has been operating beyond its 45-million-passenger-per-year capacity for two years, and a third runway is slated to take six years to build.

There will be a number of bureaucratic steps - approval from the AoT board, the National Economic and Social Development Board, the environmental regulating body and the cabinet - before construction can start, said Somchai Sawasdeepon, BKK general manager.

Without giving a specific time frame, the Transport Minister told AoT to complete the new runway as soon as possible, although AoT said it should be up and running in 2018.

The third runway would be 4000 metres in length, paved with 73-cm thick bitumen, and run parallel to Kingkaew road. Construction should take 30 months.

The estimated cost is 13 billion baht, with 7.8 billion going towards compensating some 4,000 households affected by the construction, while the construction cost itself is 3.6 billion baht.

The airport chief conceded the third runway may not provide much relief for BKK's congestion anytime soon but will smooth traffic when BKK's two existing runways are under maintenance.

With the third runway, BKK would be able to handle up to 88 take-offs and landings per hour, up from 76 with the two existing runways both operating.

"The move is long overdue and I think AoT should take every opportunity to make sure the runway is available by 2018," said Marisa Pongpattanapun, chairwoman of the Airline Operators Committee.

The tentative 2018 date of the third runway could mean it would be completed the same time as the long-delayed 62.5-billion-baht BKK expansion that began just over a month ago.

EPM Consortium was appointed project management consultant on May 29 for a scheme to raise the airport's passenger handling capacity by 33% over the next six years to 60 million passengers a year.

Even when expansion is complete in 2017, BKK's capacity will still lag projected traffic volume, say industry analysts.

(Source: Bangkok Post, AIRPORTS, Suvarnabhumi finally scheduled to get third runway, 13/07/2012, Boonsong Kositchotethana, Deputy Editor Business, link


Airport Vocabulary

Suvarnabhumi International Airport - Bangkok's international airport and the largest airport in Thailand through which most people enter the country (See Wikipedia)

airport - a special place with runways and terminals where airplanes can take off and land (See Wikipedia
runway - the long stretch that airplanes use to take off and leave the ground (See Wikipedia)

take-off - when an airplane leaves the ground at the beginning of a flight (See Wikipedia)
landings -  when an airplane returns to the ground at the end of a flight (See Wikipedia)

aviation - the flying of aircraft การบิน science of flying aircraft ศิลปและศาสตร์ในการบิน (See Wikipedia)

scheduled - planned to happen at a particular time or day ตามตารางเวลา
Suvarnabhumi finally scheduled to get third runway

subside - go down, fall or drop to a lower level
runway subsided

the subsided section of the western runway, foreground in the darker shade, after being fixed.

foreground - the part of a picture that appears nearest to you, i.e., it is in the front of the picture
fixed - repaired (made to work again after breaking and not working)

code - a set of numbers that allows you to open or lock or, in this case, to communicate with your bank account through an ATM รหัส
code-named - named by a short code of a few letters (which is easier to use than the long full name) 
plan to build a third runway code-named BKK

receive a greenlight - say you can start some activity or project

authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)

urgency - the need to deal with something quickly ความจำเป็นเร่งด่วน
addressing a problem - working on solving a problem

The long delayed plan to build a third runway at Suvarnabhumi airport, code-named BKK, has been greenlit as authorities now see the urgency of addressing the airport's overcrowding.

scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
setting the scheme into motion

initially - at the beginning; at first ในระยะต้น ในเบื้องต้น
initially planned for

Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) is setting the scheme into motion, which was initially planned for right after BKK opened in September 2006, following instruction from Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan.

disruption -
when some activity is stopped (interrupted) because of some problem
multiple disruptions


overlay - adding some material on top of existing material (new layer of pavement on runway)
closure of the runway for overlay

flight delays - when a flight leaves later than expected (example: the flight finally took off after a two hour flight delay)

radar - a system used for boats and aircraft to find the exact position of something using radio signals (See Wikipedia)

break down - when some breaks and cannnot be used anymore (until it is repaired)
the radar system broke down

crippling - causing severe damage (that prevents proper functioning) or serious harm or injury ที่ทำลายล้าง ที่รุนแรง ทำให้เป็นอัมพาต, ทำให้ขยับเขยื้อนไม่ได้

crippling flights - causing flights not to happen (can't leave airport)

diversion - making someone go to another place (or take another route or way to their destination)
diversions to other airports.

There were multiple disruptions at BKK in the past month. A section of BKK's western runway subsided on July 5, which following the closure of the eastern runway for overlay since June 11 caused flight delays. Then on June 21, the radar system broke down from 6.14 to 7.12pm, crippling flights and causing diversions to other airports.

capacity - the greatest amount of work that can be done (or traffic that can be handled) ความสามารถ (ความจุ) ในการจัดการ
airport's passenger handling capacity

45-million-passenger-per-year
capacity
operating beyond its 45-million-passenger-per-year capacity

slated - scheduled (time set for something to happen)

a third runway is slated to take six years to build

BKK has been operating beyond its 45-million-passenger-per-year capacity for two years, and a third runway is slated to take six years to build.

bureaucratic - relating to government departments or officials เกี่ยวกับระบบราชการ (including a lot of complicated rules, details, and processes, slow with many complicated steps)
bureaucratic steps

approval - official permission การอนุมัต
approval from the AoT board

construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง

There will be a number of bureaucratic steps - approval from the AoT board, the National Economic and Social Development Board, the environmental regulating body and the cabinet - before construction can start, said Somchai Sawasdeepon, BKK general manager.

time frame
Without giving a specific time frame ...

up and running
- when a system is working and operational
should be up and running in 2018

Without giving a specific time frame, the Transport Minister told AoT to complete the new runway as soon as possible, although AoT said it should be up and running in 2018.

bitumen - a black sticky substance made from oil (petroleum) used to make roads and covering roofs 

parallel
- when the distance between two lines, etc. is the same all along their length ขนาน

run parallel to - when two lines or curves travel together (maintaining same distance between them)
run parallel to Kingkaew road

The third runway would be 400 metres in length, paved with 73-cm thick bitumen, and run parallel to Kingkaew road. Construction should take 30 months.

compensating
- giving money to people for some harm, injury or damage they suffered
households - families or groups of people living together (economics treats this as a unit that makes decisions)

7.8 billion going towards compensating some 4,000 households affected by the construction

The estimated cost is 13 billion baht, with 7.8 billion going towards compensating some 4,000 households affected by the construction, while the construction cost itself is 3.6 billion baht.

conceded - admitted unwillingly that something is true ยอมรับ
provide - to give someone something that they want or need

relief
- help; assistance การช่วยให้พ้นภัย help for improving a bad physical condition or a bad situation การผ่อนคลาย, การบรรเทา

congestion - when a place is crowded with many people, vehicles, etc in a small space แน่นขนัดไปด้วยรถหรือคน

may not do X anytime soon - event X may happen a long time in the future

traffic - the number traveling to a place during a period of time (people, aircraft, ships, trains, cars, trucks, etc.) ความหนาแน่นของจำนวนคน หรือยานพาหนะในช่วงเวลาใดช่วงเวลาหนึ่ง
smooth traffic

maintenance - the act of keeping something such as a building, machine, or piece of equipment in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly การซ่อมบำรุง

The airport chief conceded the third runway may not provide much relief for BKK's congestion anytime soon but will smooth traffic when BKK's two existing runways are under maintenance. With the third runway, BKK would be able to handle up to 88 take-offs and landings per hour, up from 76 with the two existing runways both operating.

long overdue - has been delayed for a long time; people expected it a long time ago

opportunity - a situation when it is possible to do something that you want to do (See glossary)
take every opportunity to

"The move is long overdue and I think AoT should take every opportunity to make sure the runway is available by 2018," said Marisa Pongpattanapun, chairwoman of the Airline Operators Committee.

tentative - not sure yet; not definite yet; may change
tentative 2018 date

expansion
- when something increases in size, number or importance การขยายออก

The tentative 2018 date of the third runway could mean it would be completed the same time as the long-delayed 62.5-billion-baht BKK expansion that began just over a month ago.

appointed - scheduled ตามกำหนดการ

EPM Consortium was appointed project management consultant on May 29 for a scheme to raise the airport's passenger handling capacity by 33% over the next six years to 60 million passengers a year.

lag - move slower than 
projected - expected, forecast; what people believe it will in the future

traffic - the number passing through a place during a period of time (cars, airplanes, internet users, etc) 
volume - the quantity or amount of something

lag projected traffic volume - are less than the numbers that were forecast and expected

capacity will still lag projected traffic volume

Even when expansion is complete in 2017, BKK's capacity will still lag projected traffic volume, say industry analysts.

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