Suvarnabhumi Airport gets ready for Thailand’s Nov 1 opening
Airports of Thailand (AOT) is getting Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport ready for the November 1 reopening of selected tourist provinces under the government’s plan to jumpstart the tourism industry.
Under the plan, visitors travelling by air from 46 low-risk countries will not have to quarantine, but must prove they have received both jabs of an approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before flying. They are also required to provide a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before flying.
“We expect Suvarnabhumi airport to welcome 440 commercial flights on November 1; 230 of which are local flights, 110 international and 110 cargo flights,” AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said on Friday.
“These flights will bring in some 30,000 passengers, which is about 30 per cent of airport’s capacity. Of them, 23,000 will be domestic passengers and 7,000 foreign visitors.”
Nitinai further added that AOT has installed 196 CUSS (common use self-service) and 46 CUBD (common use bag drop) kiosks at Suvarnabhumi Airport, which comply with standards set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“These kiosks will be available at check-in rows B through U of the passenger terminal,” he said. “They will help speed up the check-in process, while passengers can also check in via the application six to 12 hours before departure [depending on the airline’s criteria]. After passengers finish checking in at CUSS kiosks, they can proceed to load their luggage at the CUBD kiosks immediately.
“Both CUSS and CUBD kiosks are using contactless technology to reduce the chance of virus spreading via contact surfaces,” he added.
“AOT is also planning to open the Satellite 1 [SAT-1] building in April to cope with the rising number of passengers,” Nitinai added. “The 216,000-square-meters SAT-1 building is complete but not opened for public use yet to due to a low number of passengers.
“We believe that once SAT-1 is officially opened, Suvarnabhumi’s capacity will be increased by around 15 million passengers per year, thanks to the APM [automated people mover] system that can transport up to 5,900 passengers per hour.
“AOT prioritises the safety of passengers and staff working at Suvarnabhumi and other five airports under our administration, namely Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai, Hat Yai and Phuket,” added Nitinai. “All airport employees and related workers have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have also received a booster or third shot to boost their immunity.”