AOT rushes to ease congestion at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang while pushing Phang Nga airport


FOLLOWING Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s visit to Phuket and Phang Nga over the past two days, Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) has been instructed to quickly resolve the problem of congestion at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports by November when the high season starts while studying the construction of a new airport in Phang Nga to reduce overcrowding at Phuket Airport, Matichon newspaper said today (Aug. 27).

Mr. Kirati Kitmanawat, AOT’s president, said Srettha had also told his company to deal with pricey airfares.

A short-term solution is to allow airlines to add more routes to key tourist destinations such as Phuket and Chiang Mai.

“Currently not that many foreign tourists are coming to Thailand, especially Chinese tourists who total only 40%. The government has a plan to exempt visas for Chinese and Indian tourists to come here more conveniently with the Prime Minister setting a deadline to complete this within two months,” he said.

Kirati added that AOT is preparing to table investment in new projects totaling approximately 180 billion baht for the incoming Transport Minister and the government to consider. These new schemes are aimed at supporting increased tourism with capacity of existing airports to be increased to 200 million passengers by 2027.

Details are as follows:

1) Suvarnabhumi Airport – build an extension on the eastern side of the passenger terminal with a budget of 8 billion baht to accommodate additional 15 million passengers per year, starting in 2024 for completion in 2027. The western side of the passenger terminal too be extended with the same amount of budget boosting capacity by another 15 million passengers.

2) Don Mueang Airport – Implement the third phase expansion with a 36 billion baht budget, starting in 2025 for completion in 2027, with the aim of increasing passenger capacity to 50 million a year. Build a third terminal comprising 160,000 square metres for international passengers and renovate first and second passenger terminals totalling 240,000 square metres for domestic passengers.

3) Phuket Airport and planned Phang Nga airport – Boost Phuket Airport passenger capacity from 12 million to 20 million a year with 10 billion baht budget for completion in 2025.

While the former is being renovated, construction of a new airport in Phang Nga costing approximately 80 billion baht will be studied to relieve congestion.

4) Chiang Mai Airport – build a new passenger terminal with a 10 billion baht budget to accommodate 18 million passengers a year. Budgets have been earmarked to renovate both Chiang Rai’s  Mae Fah Luang Airport and Hat Yai Airport.

As for the transfer of three regional airports to AOT, namely Krabi, Udon Thani and Buriram, Kirati said Srettha had approved the previous plan to do so.

However he asked that other airports in secondary locations that have good potential too should be considered but initially the transfer of these three airports will be tabled to the Transport Minister and Cabinet for approval, he added.


Top and Front Page: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

First insert: Don Mueang Airport.

Second insert: Phuket Airport. All photos: Matichon

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