AOT announces expansion plans for Don Mueang Airport
Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) is looking to the future with an ambitious plan to expand Don Mueang airport over the next six years.
According to AOT’s CEO Kirati Kitmanawat, the AOT’s capital investment plan to develop Don Mueang International Airport phase 3 with an estimated investment of 36.83 billion baht has been approved by the Cabinet. The project is currently in the design phase and is expected to be completed and open for bidding in 2024. Construction will begin in 2025, and the new facilities will gradually be operational in 2029.
The objective of the development of Don Mueang Airport phase 3 is to expand its capacity to accommodate passenger traffic, improve service quality for both air and ground transportation systems, enhance efficiency, and reduce congestion within the airport. The current capacity of the airport is 30 million passengers per year.
The addition of a third passenger terminal will provide 160,000 square metres of usable space for international passengers, increasing the airport's capacity to accommodate an additional 50 million passengers per year. Improvements will also be made to the traffic system for passenger convenience, among them the construction of connections from the Don Mueang Tollway to the passenger terminal.
The new Terminal 3 will serve international passengers and international flight routes exclusively. The current passenger terminals 1 and 2 will be renovated to accommodate domestic passengers, with a total usable space of up to 240,000 sqm, making Don Mueang Airport a fully equipped domestic aviation centre.
The development will be split into six segments.
The first will see the construction of Passenger Terminal 3 to the south of the airport, along with Aircraft Stand 6, and the renovation of the 7-story car park building to serve passenger drop-off and pick-up.
Another will focus on developing the northern side of the airport including aircraft parking bays, expansion of the northern concourse as well as the construction of airline offices and a VVIP support building.
Other segments include the construction of operational zones, the renovation of the existing passenger terminal buildings, construction of public utility systems. and monitoring, inspecting, and ensuring the quality of the environment during the renovation and restoration phase of the project.
Funding will come from AOT's revenue, which is sufficient for the investment.
In addition to the development of airport infrastructure, AOT is also accelerating the implementation of innovative services for passengers including Common Use Self Service (CUSS) kiosks that allow passengers to self-check-in, and the Common Use Bag Drop (CUBD) machines enabling passengers to tag their luggage, as well as an Automatic Return Tray System (ARTS) for baggage trays, all of which will help alleviate congestion and queueing issues at the passenger card inspection counters and outbound passenger screening areas. Efforts will also be made to integrate various service data of the airport onto the SAWASDEE by AOT application, allowing users to access information at any time.
Current estimates anticipate that passenger numbers will recover to 95 million this year and continue to grow to 200 million within 2027. This is in line with the International Air Transport Association (IATA)'s forecast, which anticipates that the COVID-19 situation will ease and global travellers will return to pre-Covid levels from 2023-2024.