Ground Support Worldwide

OCT 2012

The ground support industry's source for news, articles, events, product and services information.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 35

INTERNA TIONAL Suvarnabhumi Expands, But Still Struggles With Baggage Basics The architectural gem is a beauty on the outside, but decidedly less so on the inside. By Manik Mehta and Steve Smith S itting at our desks on the other side of the world, it's hard to comprehend everything we've read about Thailand's six-year-old international gateway, Suvarnabhumi Airport, located about 16 miles from Bangkok. From 200 armed thugs taking over a parking lot for an afternoon to dem- onstrators occupying the terminal for days. From sinkholes in the runways to an outage in BKK's otherwise "Uninterruptible Power Supply" that knocked out radar. We've read so much about BKK that we wonder if each and every one of the airport's problems could be true. But we don't doubt the truth behind the airport's expansion plans. Last year, 48 million travelers passed through BKK, and the number is likely to reach more than 52 million this year. The problem is BKK was designed to handle 45 million annually and passed that threshold years ago. "We are, consequently, planning to expand our passenger capacity to 60 million," says Toompetch Boonyaridh, vice president of corporate communi- cations for Airports of Thailand Public Company Ltd., the airport authority for BKK and five other Thai airports. As a result, AOT is speeding up com- pletion of BKK's expansion by one year with Phase 2 scheduled for completion in 2016. Under Phase 2, a satellite terminal will be built with 28 gates, eight of which will be able to handle the A380. Right: The airport, already past its capacity, will finish its current expansion in 2016. But even that extra space for planes and passengers will just keep pace with flight projections. Below: A routine day at Suvarnabhumi Airport includes 830 flights and 150,000 passengers. The expansion also includes more than 10 million square feet of new apron area for aircraft parking. But the added space will only catch up with projected traffic demand by 2016. BAGGAGE DELAYS Meanwhile, the airport is addressing problems with baggage handling at its current capacity. Neither of the airport's two main ground support companies can meet the set time limit for deliver- ing baggage.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Ground Support Worldwide - OCT 2012