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Thailand Invests Billions in Airport Expansion to Handle Traffic Surge
Published: July 3, 2023 at 6:18 pm
Airports Authority of Thailand (AOT) will invest 100 billion baht over five years to expand its six international airports in Thailand as passenger numbers are expected to reach 200 million annually by 2027, according to AOT CEO Kirati Kitmanawat.
The improvements will be funded by revenue, which skyrocketed to 2.2 billion baht in the first half of this fiscal year.
Kirati stated that AOT expects passenger volume for the entire fiscal year (which ends in September) to exceed 95 million after passenger volume achieved 66 million in the first eight months of the fiscal year.
AOT anticipates a return to pre-pandemic passenger levels during its next fiscal year, with a target of 95 million passengers.
From October 1, 2022, to the end of May 2023, the six airports it oversees handled 66.38 million passengers, a 170.4% increase over the same time in the prior fiscal year, according to Kirati.
This includes 34.31 million international passengers, a 635.7% increase, and 32.06 million domestic passengers, a 61.3% increase.
There were 422,900 flights, an increase of 79%, with 202,700 international flights, a rise of 175.20%, and 220,300 domestic flights, an increase of 35.40%.
Averaging 300,000 passengers daily, the six airports operated by AOT have recovered to 76.5% of their pre-pandemic levels.
According to Kirati, AOT anticipates that its six airports will manage 200 million passengers by 2027, and it is investing to satisfy this expected increase in demand.
It will debut a new auxiliary passenger terminal adding 216,000 square meters of space and 28 gates to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Kirati stated that the new terminal could handle an extra 15 million passengers annually, bringing Suvarnabhumi’s capacity to 60 million.
Kirati added that the primary passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi will be extended to the east to handle an additional 15 million passengers annually, with an investment budget of 7.83 billion baht and a further area of 66,000 square meters.
A proposal for widening the terminal to the west will also enable it to accommodate 15 million additional passengers annually. This expansion’s investment budget is also 7.83 billion baht, adding 66,000 square meters of space.
Kirati stated that the investment allocation for the third phase of Don Muang International Airport is 36,829 billion baht.
He stressed that new passenger terminals will be constructed at Chiang Mai International Airport and Phuket International Airport at a cost of more than 20 billion baht.
According to Kirati, the bidding process for the construction of airport expansion projects will begin early next year.