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Thailand approves Bangkok airport upgrade plan

A Bt60 billion ($1.99bn) upgrade plan for Suvarnabhumi airport, the main international gateway to Bangkok, has been approved.

It is reported that Airports of Thailand will consult with the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organisation before submitting the proposal to the cabinet for consideration in March.

According to transport minister Saksayam Chidchob, the project includes three expansion works - east, west and north expansions. Saksayam Chidchob is vice chairman of the committee set up in December to decide on whether the north expansion requires the construction of a second terminal.

The east and the west expansions respectively cover an area of 6.6 hectares and each will cost approximately Bt7.83bn ($261 million). The north expansion covers 34.8 hectares with a cost of Bt41.26bn ($1.38bn). Once complete, the three expansions are expected to increase its capacity of 60 million passengers each year.

John Yeap of Pinsent Masons, the firm behind Out-Law, said:” With the aviation sector significantly impacted by Covid-19, it is encouraging to see Thailand planning for the return of air travel.  Prior to the pandemic, the airport was operating at over its planned capacity, and plans to expand have been in place since well prior to the pandemic.  Together with the completion of the satellite terminal due later this year, and with the third runway expansion that is proposed, these expansion plans are aimed at securing Bangkok as an international gateway to Asia and beyond.”

In August TN Joint Venture, consisting of Nawarat Patanakarn and Thanomwongse, signed the contract with Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) for construction of the third runway and taxiway D extension and the perimeter taxiway at Suvarnabhumi Airport. The total contract value is Bt9.71bn ($324m), according to a report. The construction is expected to be completed within three years.

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