Airports of Thailand (AOT) will hire an airport-design consultant for Phase 2 of its expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The expansion is expected to be complete by 2016.
The company also plans to bring in smart cards and barcode technology to speed up its immigration services and alleviate congestion at Bangkok’s main airport.
Sitta Tivari, chairman of AOT’s board of directors, said the agency estimated that more than 50 million passengers would pass through Suvarnabhumi this year, exceeding its official capacity of 45 million. Some congestion is inevitable during peak hours. To help alleviate the problem, AOT plans to offer discounts for flights during non-peak hours, he said.
Smart cards and barcode technology will improve immigration services and reduce waiting times for passengers, he said.
For example, Thai nationals will be offered the option of using smart cards instead of passports, to clear immigration processing in as little as 10 seconds.
However, such measures are not long-term solutions to relieve airport congestion, say critics. The design for the Bt62.5-billion Phase 2 expansion could take another 10 months to complete.
AOT will select the construction contractor to lead the expansion in March next year.
Yesterday, it signed an agreement to hire MAA 103 Group, which will design the four-storey 216,000-square-metre terminal building of Phase 2, next to 28 aircraft parking spots connecting the south-end tunnel with passenger-transport systems. The total cost of the project is estimated at Bt722 million.
AOT has also hired PSS Consortium to design and oversee the Bt63.97-billion infrastructure works, including plumbing, electrical supply and a cold-water system for air-conditioning and wastewater treatment.