Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) has revealed its ambitious six-year expansion plan for Don Mueang Airport. The capital investment plan, approved by the Cabinet, aims to develop Don Mueang International Airport’s third phase, with an estimated investment of 36.83 billion baht. The project is currently in the design phase and is expected to open for bidding in 2024, with construction commencing in 2025. The new facilities are set to become operational by 2029.
The key objectives of the development plan for Don Mueang Airport include expanding its capacity to accommodate passenger traffic, enhancing service quality for air and ground transportation systems, improving efficiency, and reducing congestion within the airport. Currently, the airport has a capacity of 30 million passengers annually.
To accommodate an additional 50 million passengers per year, a third passenger terminal will be constructed, providing 160,000 square meters of usable space for international passengers. The existing passenger terminals 1 and 2 will be renovated to serve domestic passengers, with a total usable space of up to 240,000 square meters, effectively transforming Don Mueang Airport into a fully equipped domestic aviation center.
The development plan will be divided into six segments. These include the construction of Passenger Terminal 3, the expansion of the northern concourse, and the development of operational zones, aircraft parking bays, and public utility systems.
In addition to infrastructure development, the airport authority aims to enhance passenger services by implementing innovative solutions. These include self-check-in kiosks (CUSS), common-use bag drop machines (CUBD), and an automatic return tray system (ARTS) for baggage trays.
Current estimates predict a gradual recovery in passenger numbers, reaching 95 million by the end of this year. AOT anticipates that the numbers will continue to grow, reaching 200 million by 2027. These projections align with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) forecast, which predicts a return to pre-Covid levels of global travel from 2023-2024. (NNT)