'People mover' train on track

'People mover' train on track

A trial run of an Automated People Mover (APM) train at Suvarnabhumi airport will take place in August.

Airports of Thailand (AoT) announced the plan yesterday after a successful test of Siemens's Airval system between the current passenger terminal and Satellite 1 (SAT-1), a new terminal under construction.

Kerati Kijmanawat, AoT's Senior Executive Vice President, said the dynamic test went smoothly and would continue until the end of March.

He said the next phase of the test would be Automatic Train Control, which would be completed in July and would be followed by a trial run with people aboard.

The trial run, which will not be open to the public, will be conducted in August until the SAT-1 terminal is open for services, tentatively in April next year, he said.

When completed, the SAT-1 terminal will be able to accommodate 15 million passengers annually and will boost the airport's total annual capacity from 45 million to 60 million.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Suvarnabhumi airport had become overloaded with passenger numbers but is currently operating at only 30% of its capacity.

Mr Kerati said there was no need to rush to open the SAT-1 passenger terminal when the demand for air travel was low, so AoT would use the opportunity to test all the systems to ensure the new terminal met operation standards when it was finally opened.

Siemens has already delivered four two-car Airval trains and two more are likely to arrive in May.

The Airval has a maximum speed of 80kph and can accommodate 210 passengers per train, equal to 6,000 passengers per hour.

The current airport terminal and the new satellite terminal are about 1km apart -- it's expected to take the Airval two minutes to make each trip.

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