Welcome to the dawn of a new era at Suvarnabhumi International Airport! As the first set of passengers disembarked on Thursday, we witnessed the soft inauguration of a brand-new satellite terminal at Thailand’s principal international transit hub. Known as Satellite 1 (SAT-1), this modern terminal is set to elevate the airport’s passenger handling capacity from 45 million to a whopping 60 million passengers annually, announced Kittipong Kittikachorn, the director of Suvarnabhumi airport.
For the past 17 years, Suvarnabhumi International Airport has proven to be the lifeblood of Thailand’s air-based transportation. Despite the dampening effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger traffic has been on a steady rebound. This past fiscal year ending September 30th recorded 268,477 take-offs and landings. That’s a promising 59.4% higher than the numbers from the previous fiscal year.
The total number of passengers processed at the airport during the current fiscal year reached an encouraging 44.4 million. That represents a dramatic uplift of 153.4% compared to the figures from the preceding 12 months. Also, 20.95 million tonnes of cargo passed through Suvarnabhumi airport, living up to its reputation as a crucial cog in the global logistics network.
Considering this steady surge in passenger traffic post-pandemic, the decision to construct SAT-1 was clear-cut. Simultaneously, Suvarnabhumi airport will get a third runway, further empowering the airport’s ability to manage more simultaneous take-offs and landings. Kittipong admitted that the third runway, currently under construction, is projected to be functional by July 2025, enhancing the airport’s flight handling capabilities from 68 flights per hour to 94 flights.
SAT-1 capitalizes on tech too, with a new-fangled Individual Carrier System (ICS) installed to supercharge its baggage handling prowess. This system will facilitate the more efficient interchanging of luggage between SAT-1 and Suvarnabhumi’s principal terminal.
With the satellite terminal projected to reach full functionality by the year-end, the airport’s passenger handling capacity will expand commendably. But the expansion goals don’t stop there. Additional plans are afoot to construct an annex to the east of the main terminal, stretching the total terminal space by a humongous 66,000 square meters! This reinforcement of infrastructure will equip the airport to comfortably accommodate an additional 15 million passengers annually.
This ambitious project has already received the green light from the cabinet, and procurement procedures are expected to commence next year. Along with passenger management, Suvarnabhumi International airport is also focussed on bolstering its cargo handling capacity. With the introduction of the Free Zone Data Management System and the launch of the EZ Cargo application, the airport stands poised for an exciting future of incredible growth!