BANGKOK, 28 March 2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport opened a bike path, last month, to encourage enthusiastic cyclists.
The cycling path is part of a service perimeter road that was used when the airport was under construction.
Airports of Thailand said it repaired the road for leisure cyclists giving the airport the unusual distinction being the world first airport to offer cyclists a safe environment to train.
The link to sport is nothing new for Thai airports. Suvarnabhumi Airport might have won the hearts of cyclists, but Don Mueang Airport is possibly the only airport in the world where golfers can tee off between the runways on an immaculate 18-hole course.
AoT Board of Directors chairman Sita Divari said the cycle route was opened to serve 300 to 500 cyclists who were already biking around Suvarnabhum Airport.
It s part of AoT’s strategy to improve its image and provide Bangkok with additional leisure space.
“There are many cyclists in the area near the airport, so the company responded with a green corridor project that makes the sport safer and more enjoyable.”
Ironically, the construction of infrastructure around the airport in 2004 to 2006 was a major obstacle for competitive cyclists, who were members of the Rama 9 Cycling Club . They trained on roads directly leading to the airport complex and for safety considerations were forced to relocate.
But news of the new road quickly circulated, earlier this year, with some cyclists videoing the route and posting in on the internet. Since then the number of cyclists heading to the airport has grown significantly swelling the ranks of Rama 9 Cycling Club once more.
AoT said the green-painted road surface is covered with a para rubber coating to prevent slips and handle all weather conditions.
The track is open daily from 0600 to 1800.
The airport is fast becoming a Mecca for leisure cyclists. Their favourite starting point is Suvarnabhumi 3 Road, which is the two-lane road that starts at the intersection of the bus station located due east of the passenger terminal and runs parallel to the eastern runway for about 7 km. But they have to share the road with other vehicles.
With the opening of the bike path, they have a choice of lanes exclusively designed for bikers, which runs along the flood-prevention barrier circling the airport.