Airport terminal ready for quick makeover


Airport terminal ready for quick makeover

The Airports of Thailand (AoT) management have submitted a three billion baht renovation plan for the currently derelict Terminal 2 in Bangkok’s Don Muang International Airport.

The plan was submitted to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), the government planning agency, in July and if approved the work could be underway and completed by May 2014. At least, that is the aim of Don Muang’s general manager Chaturongkapon Sodmanee.

The general manager has been quoted as saying AoT is committed to undertaking the work in a very timely manner. The fast tracking is needed because there is a realization that Terminal 1 is rapidly heading towards its capacity of 18 million travellers per annum. It is expected that Don Muang will reach 16 million this year, so it is imperative the presently derelict Terminal 2 be brought into the equation once again.

The terminal had originally been slated for renovation in November next year, but future projections regarding passenger numbers both within Thailand and from international arrivals has led to a rapid rethinking of that timeframe.

Khun Chaturongpakon admits his plans are ambitious, but the plans for the facelift are already well advanced and if the entire proposal is given the green light then Terminal 2 will be well and truly brought into a state of complete modernity.

Given the importance the central government has placed on improving infrastructure throughout the country, and especially aviation, the improvements to Terminal 2 would mean that Don Muang would be capable of handling a massive 30 million passengers a year. This would greatly relieve the current pressures on Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is currently running well past capacity.

Terminal 2 was constructed more than 20 years ago but has been effectively dormant since the 2006 opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

AoT wants to circumvent the usual bureaucratic quagmire of casting about to award contracts, and instead hopes to organize a special procurement procedure which would see suppliers and contractors arranged quickly so the work can be completed within the ambitious timeframe announced by the general manager.

According to the plans submitted to the NESDB, the new-look Terminal 2 will have 80 check-in counters (down from the current 92) but will retain its present six check-in islands.

The centerpiece of the new check-in hall will be a life-size replica of a vintage aircraft, designed to reflect the long history of Don Muang airport.

The renovated Terminal 2 would be used exclusively for domestic passenger arrivals and departures. It is expected that once Terminal 2 has been fully renovated, then Terminal 1 would be next in line to receive an equally ambitious makeover.