AOT hopes to make Suvarnabhumi one of top 30 airports in 4 years
The Airports of Thailand (AOT) is working hard to make Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport one of the world’s top 30 airports again after it slipped sharply in global rankings this year.
Suvarnabhumi held the 10th position in Skytrax World Airport Awards in 2010 but dropped to 68th this year.
AOT director Kirati Kitmanawat said on Tuesday that the agency is responding to this sharp drop by implementing an urgent policy to improve services so they meet international standards.
“I aim to make Suvarnabhumi Airport one of the world’s best airports for travellers again,” he said. “It should be among the 50 best within two years and among the 30 best in four years,” he said.
Kirati said one of the biggest problems at Suvarnabhumi Airport was long queues at check-in, passenger screening and immigration counters, especially during rush hour.
To tackle these issues, AOT has set up around 200 self-check-in and self-service bag drop points to cut down the queues.
It also aims to set up automatic gates to speed up immigration, he said, adding that AOT is also collaborating with the Immigration Bureau to deploy more officials.
He said he expects the number of passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport to reach the pre-pandemic level of 200,000 persons per day by the end of this year as many flights have returned.
Up to 70% of international flights have resumed services, and that should rise to 100% by the end of 2023, he said.
Kirati added that AOT will expand Suvarnabhumi’s Satellite Terminal 1 by another 200,000 square metres by September this year.
AOT has also earmarked 9 billion baht for expansion to the east of the airport, and construction is expected to begin by the beginning of next year.
The 9-billion-baht expansion on the west of the airport is at the design stage at present, he said, adding that AOT will propose the expansion to the Cabinet once the design is completed.
“We have allowed Suvarnabhumi Airport to drop sharply in world rankings,” he said. “If we do not accelerate the expansion of the airport area to support more passengers, our service quality will fall further.”
He added that the next step AOT will consider is a 41-billion-baht expansion to the north and a 120-billion-baht expansion to the south of the airport.