A few weeks after re-opening the Terminal 2 at Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok home base for low cost airline, Airports of Thailand (AOT) announces to go further with expansion and construction. Although the new terminal 2 is taking total passengers capacity to 30 million, both terminals are likely to soon face again congestion as total passengers traffic in the last fiscal year already reached 29 million. As Don Mueang has been growing on average with double-digit figures in the last three years –and 2016 is likely to confirm the trend-, the airport will probably see a total of 32 million passengers this year and 35 million in 2017. It becomes again urgent to think about expansion.
Thai newspapers reported that AOT President Nitinai Sirismatthakarn announced to present to its board a proposal of investing another THB 10 billion (US$300 million) for a third expansion phase. In the idea is now to renovate and upgrade Don Mueang former domestic terminal which is today closed to the public.
Another terminal could also be added across both the tollway and highway. The new track would then be directly connected to the future rail station on the Red line Bang Sue-Rangsit and the Airport Express Link to Phaya Thai station in Bangkok CBD. The terminal will act as a junction for both Terminal 1 and 2 towards the rail station and offer more check in facilities. All the new constructions are to be completed by 2021.
Total capacity would then rise to slightly over 40 million passengers a year. But once more, AOT will be again facing the same dilemma: how to cope with surging traffic demand? As long as no massive investments are conducted to significantly boost capacity –meaning adding at least a terminal for 25 million more passengers-, it will be a haunting task for AOT to cope with growth. Bangkok other airport in Suvanarnabhumi and Phuket are perfect examples…