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AoT boots up Don Mueang

By on May 23, 2012 in Property News

Don Mueang airport, now only marginally used, will be fully reactivated under a policy reversal by Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) to provide relief to the crowded Suvarnabhumi airport.

The Thursday resolution by AoT’s board means that three terminals at Bangkok’s old airport – International Terminal II, Domestic Terminal and Cargo Terminal II – will be revitalised as “relief” facilities.

The decision effectively kills the ambitious development projects on the airport site previously mooted on assumption of Don Mueang’s limited role for passenger traffic.

On AoT’s drawing board before the flooding hit Don Mueang were plans for an airframe heavy maintenance and landing gear repair centre; aircraft parts and component storage; import car showrooms; a logistics centre; and a convention and exhibition facility.

AoT wants to divert some traffic, particularly that of low-cost carriers and airlines providing point-to-point flights, from Suvarnabhumi, the country’s main international airport, to Don Mueang.

Only Nok Air has returned since flooded Don Mueang reopened in March with Terminal I the only one in service. AoT would like to see that terminal handle 14.5 million passengers a year, up from Nok’s 4 million.

AoT is particularly keen to lure Thai AirAsia, Thailand’s biggest low-cost carrier, whose passenger volume of 7 million last year would go far towards relieving the load from Suvarnabhumi.

Moving traffic to Don Mueang is a quick and easy way to reduce congestion at Suvarnabhumi, which would otherwise see passenger volume soar to 51 million this year, up from 47.2 million last year. (It was designed to handle 45 million.)

AoT plans to offer a package of incentives, including a 10-15% cut in landing and parking fees, to attract airlines to Don Mueang.

Meanwhile, AoT’s board on Thursday agreed to appoint EPM Consortium as the project management consultant for Suvarnabhumi’s long-awaited expansion.

Slated for six years, the 62.5-billion-baht project will increase Suvarnabhumi’s annual passenger-handling capacity by 15 million, rising to a total of 60 million.

Source : Bangkok Post 19 May 2012

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