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SUNDAY, December 10, 2023

AOT investing billions in its six airports to prepare for surge in passengers

AOT investing billions in its six airports to prepare for surge in passengers
SUNDAY, July 02, 2023

Airports Authority of Thailand Plc (AOT) will invest 100 billion baht in the expansion of its six international airports in Thailand over the next five years, as the number of passengers is forecast to rise to 200 million per year in 2027, AOT chief executive officer Kirati Kitmanawat said.

The expansions will be funded by revenue, which rose dramatically in the first six months of this fiscal year to 2.2 billion baht.

AOT forecasts passenger volume for the full fiscal year (ending in September) to reach its target of 95 million, after passenger volume reached 66 million in the first eight months of the fiscal year, Kirati said.

AOT expects passengers to rebound to pre-pandemic levels during its next fiscal year and its target is 95 million passengers.

Passenger volume at the six airports it manages totalled 66.38 million from October 1, 2022 to end-May 2023 – a 170.4% rise over the same period in the previous fiscal year, Kirati said.

The number comprises 34.31 million international passengers, an increase of 635.7%, and 32.06 million domestic passengers, an increase of 61.3%.

There were a total of 422,900 flights, an increase of 79%, comprising 202,700 international flights, an increase of 175.2%, and 220,300 domestic flights, an increase of 35.4%.

The six airports AOT operates had an average of 300,000 passengers per day, recovering to 76.5% of their pre-pandemic level.

AOT forecasts its six airports will handle 200 million passengers as early as 2027, and it is investing to meet this expected rise in demand, Kirati said.

It is opening a new satellite passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport that will add 216,000 square meters of space and 28 gates. The new terminal will accommodate an additional 15 million passengers per year, increasing Suvarnabhumi’s capacity to 60 million passengers per year, Kirati said.

The main passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi will also be expanded eastward to accommodate 15 million more passengers per year, with an investment budget of 7.83 billion baht and an additional area of 66,000 square meters, Kirati added.

A plan to expand the terminal westward will also allow it to handle an additional 15 million passengers per year. The investment budget for this expansion is also 7.83 billion baht and it will also add 66,000 square meters of space.

The investment budget for the third phase of the Don Muang International Airport is 36.829 billion baht, Kirati said.

He added that new passenger terminals will be added at Chiang Mai International Airport and Phuket International Airport, with a combined budget of over 20 billion baht.

Bidding for construction of the airport expansion projects will open early next year, Kirati said.