With some 2.1 million passengers last year (+7%), Koh Samui International Airport reached an absolute record in traffic and is expected to register a similar growth this year to reach 2.25 million passengers.
The airport has experienced surging traffic due to additional flights to international and domestic destinations by home based carrier Bangkok Airways. Despite having two terminals with a capacity of five million passengers, the airport’s management sees bottlenecks when processing passengers’ traffic. Flows within the terminal have been confusing with Bangkok Airways now doing at managing better passengers’ movements.
A renovation program is starting this coming May or June which might disturb parts of the activity within the terminal. It will take between 12 and 18 months to finish the airport’s renovation and remove all the bottlenecks in the departure area. The renovation will reshape the passengers’ flow layout, enlarge the immigration hall. Other works will include the transfer of the commercial zone with shops in an area which will not encroach with immigration and security passengers’ flows. In the arrival hall, two additional baggage carousels will also be installed.
The investment represents a total of US$18 million dollars –THB600 million. According to a study conducted by Changi International Airport consulting, Samui airport is due to see an average annual growth of 8% in total passengers’ traffic until 2030. Samui terminals would then be fully saturated. The runway, which is only 2,100 m long, will not be extended as it serves perfectly its purpose of welcoming aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A320.
In 2015, Thailand Department of Civil Aviation allowed Samui single runway to accommodate up to 50 aircraft movements per day, a number up from 36 movements. Bangkok Airways is now looking to get authorization to raise the total number of daily movements to 80 flights according to the Bangkok Post. The carrier is due to add a new route from October linking Samui to Guangzhou. Bangkok Airways currently flies to eight destinations out of the island.