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Upward trajectory

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi’s general manager, Sirote Duangratana, talks to Joe Bates about plans to expand the airport after a decade of traffic growth.


hen Bangkok’s impressive Suvarnabhumi Airport opened just over a decade ago it was envisaged that it would replace the city’s operationally constrained Don Mueang International Airport and have the capacity to cope with demand for the foreseeable future. Its September 28th, 2006, opening meant that Thailand immediately boasted one of the most modern and operationally efficient gateways in the world and certainly one of the most unique in terms of its architecture and design. None of that has changed, of course, and today Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) is one of the region’s biggest hubs handling 55 million passengers yearly. However, what wasn’t entirely expected was the pace of traffic growth in Bangkok over the last decade. Indeed, Suvarnabhumi has experienced average annual traffic growth of 3.2% per annum since 2007 despite Don Mueang remaining open and now laying claim to being the world’s largest low-cost carrier airport. The Thai government has responded to the continued upward trajectory in demand by outlining plans for a $1.57 billion, three-phase expansion programme for Suvarnabhumi, which will lead to the addition of a new Midfield Satellite Building, Terminal 2 and third runway over the next six years. APA Issue 3, 2017

And for many at BKK operator, Airports of Thailand (AoT), the eagerly anticipated upgrade cannot come quickly enough.


Bangkok Suvarnabhumi’s general manager, Sirote Duangratana, explains: “We successfully handled 55.9 million passengers in 2016 even though the airport is only designed to accommodate 45 million passengers. “We managed to do this by implementing a new slot allocation system to ease airfield congestion, embracing Airport – Collaborative Decision Making [A-CDM], working more closely with our stakeholders, and making better use of manpower to improve passenger flows through the terminal during our peak hours. “These measures show efficiency, but we recognise that new capacity enhancing

Asia-Pacific Airports - Issue 3, 2017  
Asia-Pacific Airports - Issue 3, 2017  

• In the spotlight: Commercial development • Airport report: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi • Special report: Global airport operators • Plus: Regiona...