Airports of Thailand aims for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to return to world’s top 50 airports

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Tourists at the Suvarnabhumi airport passenger terminal on April 11. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Airports of Thailand aims for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to return to world’s top 50 airports

New procedures and annex to boost rank

Airports of Thailand (AoT) plans to upgrade Suvarnabhumi airport, aiming to make it one of the world’s top 50 by next year and top 20 by 2028, Kirati Kijmanawat, AoT director says.

Mr Kirati on Tuesday revealed that Suvarnabhumi airport is 58th in Skytrax’s World’s Best Airport rankings for 2024, up from 68th last year.

The climb was for the improvement in its services and for the opening of satellite terminal 1 (SAT-1), which has expanded the airport’s capacity in passenger handling, he said.

Mr Kirati said the AoT’s goal is to see Suvarnabhumi in the world’s 50 best list within a year.

According to him, AoT managed to shorten the passenger screening procedure, accelerate the immigration process and add 200 officers to the immigration police’s workforce at Suvarnabhumi airport.

He also disclosed the AoT’s plans to install 80 auto gates at the immigration control, slated for August, and integrate CT scanning technology into luggage checks.

Some 50% of the airport’s current luggage scanners are expected to be replaced by CT scanners within a year, Mr Kirati said, adding that the CT scanning will allow passengers to bring liquids, including drinks, on board.

He noted that the AoT has been improving Suvarnabhumi airport’s services over the past year.

The average time each passenger spends through the screening process at the airport has decreased from up to 50 minutes to 37 minutes. It is quicker than the global standard of 45 minutes, he said.

However, Mr Kirati said the government aims to shorten the process length to 30 minutes.

According to him, congestion at the airline check-in counters is one of the biggest problems passengers at Suvarnabhumi currently face.

The AoT is also speeding up its East Expansion project, which will add over 60,000 sqm of passenger area to help reduce congestion in the airport.

The expanded space is expected to be open by 2028.