Airports of Thailand (AoT) insists Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi plan ‘can be revised’
30 November 2019
Airports of Thailand (AoT) president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn on Friday insisted that the blueprint for a second terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport could be revised every five years.
He was responding to criticism that the 42-billion-baht project deviated from the master plan, which stipulated extension of the current terminal. Critics fear the revamped project will delay the development of the rest of the airport and heighten risk of cost overruns.
The original blueprint includes plans for two terminals — the existing building and a second terminal to the south. In its revamped plan, however, the AoT decided to locate the second terminal nearer the main terminal, with a 500-metre monorail built to shuttle passengers between the two.
Mr Nitinai insisted though that the development plan could be revised to reflect changing conditions and new demands from passengers and the aviation industry, in line with recommendations by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He also pointed out that the ICAO recommended a revision of the original plan, adding that passengers were in agreement with the new blueprint.
“Passengers don’t want the old plan because it lacks other infrastructure. We shouldn’t build something that users don’t want, even if we can. There would be no additional immigration checkpoints, no additional contact gates [with the old plan]. Costs would be lowered but there would be no convenience,” he said.
The AoT chief claimed ongoing efforts to distort the facts about the second terminal were causing public confusion and tarnishing the country’s image.
Earlier this month, the AoT threatened legal action against anyone who spoke ill of the project. The threat was apparently sparked by a seminar provocatively titled “Terminal 2 Copy and Paste: Disaster for Suvarnabhumi?”, at the Nov 14-15 “National Engineering 2019” forum.
The agency has defended the second terminal proposal, insisting that the project was carefully designed with input from international aviation organisations.