Author Topic: AOT asked to reconsider Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion plan  (Read 122 times)

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AOT asked to reconsider Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion plan
« on: October 02, 2018, 01:10:58 AM »

AOT asked to reconsider Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion plan

The Council of Engineers of Thailand has called on the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) to rethink its Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion plan.

According to Kamol Takabut, the president of the Council of Engineers, the AOT’s 2014 Master Plan concerning the expansion of Suvarnabhumi International Airport is not compatible with the structure of the airport nor its location. If pushed through, the expansion project could cause technical problems in terms of land and air transportation and would lower the airport’s capacity which today stands at 30 million passengers a year.

Kamol also questioned the legality of the 2014 Master Plan, saying it could violate the Government Procurement and Supplies Management Act B.E. 2560.

Meanwhile, Amorn Pimanmas, the council’s secretary general, said if asked his organization is willing to offer the AOT advice on the construction of its second passenger terminal.

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Re: Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion plan - Flying defiantly off course
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2018, 12:21:49 AM »

Flying defiantly off course

Experts warn AOT decision to build Suvarnabhumi’s 2nd terminal in the northeast of the airport instead of the south could lead to chaos.

AIRPORTS OF Thailand Pcl has come under severe criticism for relocating the planned second passenger terminal building from the southern area of Suvarnabhumi Airport to a new site in the northeast.

 Dr Somjet Tinnaphong, former president of New Bangkok International Airport Co, challenged the state-owned firm’s reasoning and warned that the change would lead to chaos at the country’s major international gateway.

Suvarnabhumi currently handles as many as 60 million passengers per year, far exceeding its current capacity of 45 million passengers. The new plan could lead to severe congestion in the northeast, losing its well-balanced overall design, he cautioned.

Dr Samart Ratchapolsitte, a former deputy Bangkok governor and engineer who worked on Suvarnabhumi Airport’s master plan, shared the concern. He revealed that the second terminal, with an additional capacity of 30 million passengers, was supposed to be built in the southern area, not in the northeast near the first terminal building.

 AOT president Nitinai Sirisamatthakarn said the authority’s board of directors had approved the planned relocation of the second terminal in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s endorsement of the change.

Nitinai brushed aside criticisms that there would not be enough space for aircraft parking slots at the second terminal in the new location.

He said the airport’s master plan had been amended several times over the past year to suit the changing conditions.

According to Somjet, the former president of Suvarnabhumi, the new terminal as planned by the AOT is next to Concourse A of the current first terminal.

This will create a structural imbalance as an estimated 30 million passengers will be added by the planned second terminal to the current 60 million passengers per year.

Altogether, the northeast area will be overcrowded as it will handle as many as 90 million passengers per year when the second terminal is opened.

In addition, the second terminal’s new location will diminish aircraft accessibility, said Somjet, an engineer by training and currently chairman of the National Innovation Agency.

Due to the structural imbalance, there will be both air-side and land-side chaos, while winter flights will be subject to longer taxiways before take-off if the new passener terminal is located in the northeast rather than in the southern area.

He said a “wrong” location of the new terminal would also complicate the handling of air cargo, whose growth at an annualised rate of 12 per cent is even higher than the average 6 per cent annual growth of passenger traffic.

 Samart said there were irregularities in implementing the airport’s expansion project after the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) came to power in May 2014.

The AOT board in September 2014 endorsed a multi-billion-baht expansion programme to cope with the rising number of passengers using Suvarnabhumi, whose annual capacity of 45 million passengers had been fully used at the time.

According to the master plan, the AOT is first supposed to expand the current passenger terminal towards the east but this was later changed to the opposite direction in the west wing of the terminal due to an existing building in the eastern side where food and other commercial outlets are currently located.

Despite this change, the AOT did not go ahead with this expansion plan of the current passenger terminal as the state enterprise’s board eventually granted approval to an all-new passenger terminal building project, the second for Suvarnabhumi.

However, Samart said the planned second terminal building is not supposed to be in the northeast where aircraft, traffic and other congestion will worsen due to the lack of a master plan for infrastructure support.

For example, the overall airport will be well-balanced if the new terminal is situated in the southern area, near the Bang Na-Trad Highway, rather than the northeastern area near the Bangkok-Pattaya motorway, which is already congested during peak hours.

Critics also said the International Civil Aviation Organisation had endorsed a change to the master plan on condition that the AOT also implemented additional measures to accommodate such a change.

Despite the warning of likely chaos, AOT chief Nitinai said earlier this week that the agency needed to go ahead as planned with the design and construction of the second terminal building.

Earlier, there was controversy over the bidding for the design contract of the terminal building after the initial bid winner was disqualified and replaced by the second bid winner whose design drew heavy criticism.

Nitinai said the agency has to speed up the bidding process for the second terminal project as it was also required to invite new bids for the highly lucrative duty-free commercial concession for both terminals shortly.

The current concession for duty-free shopping areas is due to expire in 2020.