The Cabinet agreed with Bangkok’s Don Mueang development project to alleviate congestion at Suvarnabhumi Airport, said Deputy Government Spokesman Chalitrat Chandrubeksa. Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand’s biggest airport, will be promoted as the regional aviation hub while Don Mueang Airport will serve low cost airlines and domestic flights to make the most of the two airports, the deputy spokesman said.
The prime minister ordered ministries and agencies concerned to improve the airport’s facilities for airlines voluntarily deciding to relocate their service to Don Mueang. Suvarnbhumi Airport accommodates 47 million passengers per year. About 14commercial airlines, including those offering charter flights, will move their bases to Don Mueang Airport.
Under the plan of the Airports of Thailand Pcl to improve Don Mueang Airport, about Bt1.6 billion will be spent on upgrading runways and other facilities. The full complete service will officially start in October and will help reduce the passenger load at Suvarnabhumi Airport by 7-8 million people annually. MCOT online news
In a move widely regarded as a major policy u-turn, the Thai government is paving the way for the relocation of low-cost carriers (LCCs) from Bangkok’s primary airport, Suvarnabhumi, to alternative facilities at the older Don Mueang International Airport as it looks to tackle the growing problem of passenger congestion.
Low-cost passenger movement at Suvarnabhumi reached 7.4m last year, forcing the government to rethink its plans to shift all commercial flights to the main airport and convert Don Mueang into a maintenance facility, at least in the short term.
Until recently, the plan to close Don Mueang as a scheduled services airport following the opening of Suvarnabhumi in 2006 remained in place. However, following the shift in policy, announced shortly after Jarupong took up his post in January, Airports of Thailand (AoT), the state-run enterprise which manages both airports, commenced a BT1.09bn ($33m) rehabilitation programme at the flood-damaged older airport.
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