Transport Ministry to expand Suvarnabhumi Airport capacity

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BANGKOK, 18 July 2012  – The Prime Minister has instructed the Transport Ministry to move forward with the improvement and the expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport, which are hoped to be completed before 2017. 

Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has instructed the Transport Ministry to quickly fix all problems at Suvarnabhumi Airport and to enhance its capacity to accommodate more passengers.

In addition, the PM has urged continued progress of the Suvarnabhumi Airport development project – phase 2, which is to be completed within 70 months or before the year 2017, along with the construction of the third runway at the country’s main airport.

Mr. Charupong stated that, under the current conditions, Suvarnabhumi can handle only 55 flights per hour, instead of the 76 flights-per-hour target, due to noise pollution problems on the west runway that have lowered its capacity to only 20 percent. At the same time, the east runway is operating at 80 percent of its expected capacity because of the tarmac repair works.

The Transport Minister is confident that all repairs of the runway will be completed by the end of July. He said that the completion of the maintenance service will help solve the problems of flight delays, especially after low-cost airlines start moving to Donmuang Airport in October.

He added that PM Yingluck also asked the Transport Ministry to set up a new committee to oversee the development of Suvarnabhumi.

Meanwhile, Airports of Thailand (AOT) Company Chairman Air Chief Marshal Sumet Photimanee said that the planned construction of the third runway of Suvarnabhumi Airport is awaiting the Environmental Impact Assessment report.

According to the AOT Chairman, the new runway construction is estimated to cost 13.8 billion baht.