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Air traffic puts Suvarnabhumi in bad light

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, with its relentless waves of tourists, was called out as one of the airports most guilty of bottlenecks, or congestion points. This is especially worrisome since it is projected to serve 14 million more passengers than its handling capacity this year.

At the International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Summit in Cancun, Mexico, attended by over a thousand world transport officials on Monday, Suvarnabhumi was called out by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director-general. He criticized Bangkok’s main airport, alongside other countries’, for the frequency in “facing bottlenecks.”

In spite of the facility’s annual 45 million passenger capacity, the Thai airport expects a whopping number of 59 million people in the January-to-September time span.

The good news is, Suvarnabhumi expects to grow. Its expansion will need four years to be complete, and includes a third runway as well as another passenger terminal, at a cost of THB110 billion. Once it is completed, the annual passenger capacity should reach 90 million, Bangkok Post.

De Juniac said that aviation’s economic benefits “can only be unlocked if governments provide sufficient capacity” and ensure that the quality of service equates to that of the user’s expectations. He warns that the prices must be “at an affordable cost.”

In addition, he criticized how “cash-strapped” governments believe that privatization can resolve infrastructure funding, yet only the concessionaires make money, while local economies suffer the high prices.

De Juniac adds that when infrastructure is privatized, “economic regulation is essential.”




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