Thailand: Airports upgrades gain altitude

Expansion plans for Don Mueang and Chiang Mai international airports have cleared a major hurdle for the projects to get under way at a combined cost of Bt53 billion.

The Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) gained the go-ahead for the ambitious plans from its board at a meeting on Wednesday. An anonymous source from AOT said the third phase of work at Don Mueang airport – Bangkok’s No.2 international gateway – will cost Bt37.59 billion. The first phase of expansion at Chiang Mai International Airport will cost Bt15.82 billion. The construction of a passenger building on the site of the car park of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) will have a budget of Bt207.11 million. After receiving the AOT board’s approval, these projects under the master plan for airports will be proposed to the Ministry of Transport and the National Economic and Social Development Board before they are forwarded to the Cabinet for approval.

The third phase of the Don Mueang airport development project is scheduled to start this year, with work continuing until 2024, with the aim of boosting its annual capacity from 30 million passengers to 40 million. The old passenger terminal building and concourse No.6 will be dismantled and the new 155,000-square-metre international passenger terminal building 3 will be constructed to accommodate 18 million passengers a year. Later, the passenger terminal building 1 will be improved for domestic routes and domestic passengers will be able to use services at the passenger terminal building 2. Once completed, both passenger terminal buildings will have an annual capacity of 22 million passengers.Expansion works Under the third phase of the development plan, Don Mueang airport’s bays will increase from 114 to 142, with a plan to widen lanes and increase the number of parking spaces from 4,475 cars to 5,736. For the Chiang Mai airport development project, work is due to begin this year and continue until 2022. It is aimed at boosting annual capacity from 8 million passengers to 16.5 million. While the airport’s taxiways and aprons will be built with a plan to increase the number of bays from 12 to 31, an international passenger terminal building will be constructed. The existing passenger terminal building will be shifted to service domestic routes Under the first phase, an office building with car parks, a building for utilities and an overpass to separate incoming and outgoing passengers will be built. The pipeline system for aircraft will also be expanded. The parking areas will be enlarged to accommodate 3,000 cars. The existing capacity is for 800.

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