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New Bangkok Airport News

Governmenrt plans Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion

Less than a month into its commercial opening, the Aviation Department is already planning expansion of Thailand's Suvarnabhumi Airport to accommodate rapid growth in passenger traffic.

Department of Aviation director-general Chaisak Angkasuwan said he will propose to the Transport Ministry and Airports of Thailand Plc.(AOT), which manages the airport, to speed up the feasibility study to build a new passenger terminal exclusively for low-cost carriers as well as the third runway to accommodate growth in air traffic.

Mr. Chaisak said since its September 28 opening, Suvarnabhumi Airport is reaching full capacity. The expansion is required in view of the projected 10 per cent growth per year in flight and passenger traffic.


Transport minister calls for higher security at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Transport Minister Admiral Thira Haocharoen on Thursday instructed airport officials to boost security throughout the Suvarnabhumi Airport area, particularly in a zone nearby an aircraft takeoff and landing area.

Adm. Thira and his deputy Sansern Wongcha-um made their first inspection of Suvarnabhumi Airport after assuming their posts.

They were welcomed by senior executives of Airports of Thailand (AOT), Thai Airways International (THAI) and state agencies concerned, who briefed them of the airport's overall functions and all problems that have arisen in the new facility's operations.


New Bangkok airport up and running

Two weeks will have passed tomorrow since Suvarnabhumi Airport was opened for commercial operation; thankfully no disaster, complete chaos or serious multiple failures occurred. The teething troubles seem to have been gradually resolved and kept to minimum with great determination, apparently due to the total dedication, the high spirit of teamwork among parties concerned and well-laid-down contingency plans.

In a poll I conducted, international airline managers, who were utterly critical about the readiness of the 125-billion-baht airport ahead of its Sept 28 opening, have given a passing grade in its initial operation. Scores of airline executives, who were on the ground, rated Suvarnabhumi's terminal and operations about six or seven on a scale of 10, a pretty fair assessment and consistent with scores that Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) which runs the airport, has given itself.


Suvarnabhumi Airport luggage system upgraded

The automatic baggage handling system at Suvarnabhumi airport has been upgraded with more data-processing capacity in a move authorities believe will solve the problem of stranded luggage. Airports of Thailand (AoT) finished the system upgrade at noon yesterday, allowing passenger luggage to again be sorted automatically by the conveyor belt system.

The data-processing capacity was increased 2.5 times, said AoT president Chotisak Asapaviriya.

On Saturday, the system failed to read about 6,700 pieces of outbound luggage, resulting in luggage being stranded in the conveyor system.

Mr Chotisak said the problem was the system could not sort luggage quickly enough because bags from other countries were tagged with excessive information that overloaded Suvarnabhumi's system.


Thai Airways sets up a Call Center to help passengers find their baggage

Thai Airways International has improved the efficiency of the baggage claim service at Suvarnabhumi Airport by opening a call center to help passengers get their baggage 24 hours a day.

Passengers who don’t receive baggage are requested to call 0-2130-0057-8, 0-2130-0060 anytime.

And due to a great number of passengers using the Suvarnabhumi international airport since its official opening on September 28th, 2006, the national flag carrier urges all passengers to check in before time. Passengers of international flights are requested to check in 3 hours before boarding time while domestic passengers should check in one hour before departure.


Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Golf Resort & Spa to open in July 2008

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc’s global hotel brand Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, continues to expand its presence in Asia Pacific with the signing of Le Méridien Suvarnabhumi Golf Resort & Spa, Thailand. Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Summit Windmill Golf Club Co., Limited announced the agreement to manage this brand new resort in Samut Prakan, just south east of Bangkok and approximately 3 miles from the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport of Bangkok, Thailand. This newly built resort, which will open in July 2008, will also be one of the first international upscale hotels to be built in the up and coming Suvarnabhumi area, where the new airport is located.


Suvarnabhumi airport can compete against Changi: Singapore airport director

Suvarnabhumi Airport could become a "formidable competitor" to the award-winning Changi Airport, according to the Singapore airport's managing director Foo Sek Min.

He said Bangkok's new international airport was a "100 per cent improvement" on Don Muang, despite the many hitches since it opened on September 28.

Foo warned, however, that Suvarnabhumi should be aware of its costs spiralling, put up better signs and improve its baggage-handling system.

He said Changi - regarded as the world's best airport - was confident in its strategy of having three main terminals plus one low-cost terminal, instead of having one mega-terminal like Suvarnabhumi.


Suvarnabhumi Airport gets passing grade in the first week

Suvarnabhumi Airport has received a passing grade in its first week of operation, but still has a long way to go before it can compete with world-class airports in Hong Kong and Singapore, international airline managers say.

Many executives were poised for the worst when the 125-billion-baht airport opened on September 28, expecting a host of baggage system malfunctions and computer glitches. But the problems turned out to be largely similar to those that airlines faced at the old Bangkok International Airport (Don Muang) right up until its closure.

"Before the opening, we were so worried about problems, particularly with the baggage system," said Seiichi Iwasaki, the Southeast Asia regional manager for Japan Airlines. "But it turned out to be okay, though there are still small problems."


Thai Airways requests passengers to check in to international flights 3 hours in advance

Thai Airways International requests the assistance of passengers flying out of Suvarnabhumi Airport, to check in 3 hours in advance for international flights and 1 hour in advance for domestic flights, in order to decrease traffic jams routed to and from the airport.

Flg. Off. Apinan Sumanaseni, THAI's President, said that following the official opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport on 28 September 2006, there have been several people coming out to the airport who are both passengers and observing public, both inside and outside the airport terminal area. This has resulted in traffic congestion on the roads within the airport area. Therefore, the company requests the assistance of passengers traveling THAI flights to check in as follows:


Bangkok’s new airport offers exciting stop-over options

Bangkok’s new international airport – Suvarnabhumi – opened officially on September 28th with the touchdown at 03:02 of a Lufthansa cargo plane.

The airport is set to become one of the world’s most important aviation hubs, and with Bangkok a key hub for flights to Europe, the Middle East, the Indochina region and the rest of Asia, the airport opening will have particular significance for travellers from Australia. In particular, it will open up new stop-over destinations in Thailand, such as Pattaya, which will now be just 1½ hours from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Initially, Suvarnabhumi Airport is expected to handle up to 45 million passengers annually, based on two parallel runways with a total capacity of 76 flights per hour. Upon full completion, it will have four runways ankd passenger terminals capable of handling 100 million movements a year.

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