Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) has set its sights on the future, unveiling an expansive plan to grow Don Mueang airport over the upcoming six years.
Kirati Kitmanawat, the CEO of AOT, confirmed that their capital investment strategy , which involves the launch of Don Mueang International Airport’s third phase with a projected investment of 36.83 billion baht – has been given the approved by the Cabinet.
The project is presently in the blueprint phase and is slated to be finalized and open to bids by 2024. The construction phase will kick off in 2025, with the new additions being progressively operational by 2029.
The purpose behind Don Mueang Airport phase 3 development is to extend its capacity to handle more passenger traffic, elevate the service standards for air and ground transport systems, improve efficacy, and mitigate overcrowding within the airport premises.
The existing airport capacity stands at 30 million passengers annually.
The incorporation of a third passenger terminal will furnish 160,000 square meters of functional space for international travelers, augmenting the airport’s capacity to manage an extra 50 million passengers annually.
Modifications will also be introduced to the passenger traffic system for improved convenience, including the building of links from the Don Mueang Tollway to the passenger terminal.
The forthcoming Terminal 3 is intended solely to cater to international passengers and international flight routes.
The present passenger terminals, 1 and 2, are to undergo refurbishment to serve domestic passengers, with a total functional space reaching 240,000 square meters, thus transforming Don Mueang Airport into a comprehensively prepared domestic aviation hub.
The comprehensive enhancement plan for the airport will be divided into six portions.
The initial segment will witness the construction of Passenger Terminal 3 towards the southern region of the airport, along with Aircraft Stand 6, and a renovation of the seven-story parking garage to cater to passenger arrivals and departures.
A separate portion will concentrate on the northern part of the airport, comprising the expansion of aircraft parking bays, the northern concourse, and the erection of airline offices along with a VVIP support edifice.
Additional components include constructing operational areas, renovating existing terminal buildings, setting up public utilities, and ensuring environmental quality throughout the renovation phase.
The capital for this project will be sourced from AOT’s income, which is ample for the investment.
Aside from enhancing airport infrastructure, AOT is also accelerating the integration of innovative passenger services.
These include Common Use Self Service (CUSS) kiosks for self-check-ins, Common Use Bag Drop (CUBD) machines for luggage tagging assistance, and an Automatic Return Tray System (ARTS) for luggage trays.
These initiatives will contribute towards alleviating congestion and long queues at the passenger card inspection counters and outbound passenger screening areas.
Efforts are also underway to integrate the airport’s various service data into the SAWASDEE by AOT app, ensuring users can access information anytime.
Based on current projections, the passenger count is expected to rebound to 95 million this year and steadily rise to 200 million by 2027.
This aligns with the forecast of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which predicts that the COVID-19 situation will improve and global traveler volumes will bounce back to pre-Covid levels between 2023-2024.