AoT approves 'Terminal 2' but scraps controversial design

AoT approves 'Terminal 2' but scraps controversial design

Airports of Thailand has scrapped the whole Terminal 2 project for Suvarnabhumi and will start all over on both the design and just where to put it.
Airports of Thailand has scrapped the whole Terminal 2 project for Suvarnabhumi and will start all over on both the design and just where to put it.

Airports of Thailand Plc's (AoT) board gave the nod Wednesday to a 42-billion-baht plan to build a second terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport, but it scrapped a blueprint for the terminal's design.

AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said the board decided to drop the winning design as it may not sufficiently cater to the needs of those using the terminal.

The design was created by DBALP Consortium, headed by local architect Duangrit Bunnag.

The AoT declared the consortium the winner of a design competition on Aug 22.

However, its options for taking legal action after the rejection may be limited, said a source at the AoT.

The terms of reference (ToR) for the second terminal design deprived the consortium of the right to sue the AoT in the event of the bid result being cancelled, the source added.

The AoT's decision to green-light the extra terminal has put plans to expand this national gateway back on track after they were earlier derailed.

Construction was shelved late last year following criticism from several organisations, including high-profile professional associations such as the Council of Engineers and the Architects Council of Thailand.

Glowing photos and video presentations of last August's winning design will apparently remain on the web for comparison.

They said the terminal was scheduled to be built in an undesirable location, which deviated from the original Suvarnabhumi airport master plan approved in 2003.

The original plan included two terminals -- the existing northern terminal and an identical one located slightly south.

However, the AoT later adjusted its plan by adding a second additional terminal, which the ToR refers to as Terminal 2.

That means the originally planned second terminal, which also has yet to be built, would become Terminal 3. It is expected to be put in place within the next few years.

The new Terminal 2 is due to be located in a northeasterly position, adjacent to Terminal 1.

It will be constructed on a 400,000-square-metre plot at a cost of 42 billion baht. Ground was due to be broken this year on Terminal 2, with completion slated for 2021.

Meanwhile, the AoT will soon announce the terms of an upcoming auction for duty-free and retail concessions at Suvarnabhumi airport.

It said there would be three contracts -- duty-free retail, commercial activities such as restaurants, and duty-free pick up counters.

The guidelines emphasise free competition, especially for duty-free pick up counters, which allow duty-free businesses downtown to deliver goods to passengers, the AoT said.

King Power is currently the sole licence holder for duty-free retail.

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