Suvarnabhumi Airport Map

Suvarnabhumi Airport : Flight Status

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Int'l flights may return to Don Mueang

The board of Airports of Thailand (AoT) is to decide today if it will invite non-connecting international flights to return to Don Mueang airport to relieve congestion at Suvarnabhumi. An AoT source said the proposal is in line with a directive from the cabinet asking if better use could be made of Don Mueang.

The cabinet instructed AoT to look into the matter last February when it agreed Don Mueang should reopen for non-connecting domestic flights.

AoT then referred the matter for study to the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The ICAO agreed that non-connecting international flights should follow suit, the source said.

Suvarnabhumi was designed to serve up to 45 million passengers annually. But this year's traffic is expected to rise to 46.7 million passengers, from 43.12 million last year.

Traffic congestion has eased slightly as Thai Airways International, Nok Air and One-Two-Go airlines moved their non-connecting domestic flights back to Don Mueang when it reopened on March 25.

AoT will invite 25 airlines, including eight no-frills flyers, to move their non-connecting international flights back to Don Mueang on a voluntary basis.

Non-connecting international services of the 25 airlines account for 23% of all flights and 15% of all passengers visiting Suvarnabhumi airport.

If all these international flights return, the passenger volume at Suvarnabhumi airport will drop to about 37.2 million passengers a year. This means the new airport will not reach its saturation point until 2013.

This will also allow AoT to delay investing in Suvarnabhumi's expansion.

Transport permanent secretary Chaisawat Kittipornpaiboon said the tripartite committee agreed yesterday to urge AoT

to finalise compensation within the next month for people living around Suvarnabhui who were subjected to more than 70 decibels of noise.

AoT should conclude agreements to buy the 154 properties currently enduring that noise level.

Source : Bangkokpost

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