The Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed plans to construct a second passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Despite ongoing disagreements over the location of the terminal, the PM said that construction must proceed.
The site’s masterplan states that the new terminal should be constructed south of the airport. This plan was prepared by the American construction management firm Louis Berger, Netherlands Airport Consultants and the Architect Council of Thailand (ACT).
However, the Airports Authority of Thailand (AOT) has been insisting that the new facility should come as an extension from the north-eastern wing of the existing terminal.
Despite all opposition, the AOT is pressing hard for the second terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is estimated to entail an investment of $1.37bn.
Construction of the terminal will enable the airport to accommodate the growing number of travellers on both domestic and overseas flights.
During this year, the airport is estimated to handle 76 flights per hour and is expected to accommodate a total of 180 million passengers.
Prayut further commented that the design of the facility requires some changes. A public hearing will be organised soon to consider environmental concerns.
The AOT is also preparing plans to construct a third runway to accommodate the airport’s increasing flight numbers.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport was inaugurated in 2006 to replace Don Mueang Airport and later became the main international gateway to Bangkok.
However, capacity constraints at Suvarnabhumi forced Don Mueang to reopen to provide services for low-cost airlines.