Thai Airports Operating Way Beyond Capacity

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fountainhall
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#1 Thai Airports Operating Way Beyond Capacity

Postby fountainhall » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:13 pm

When I think back I am always amazed it was not many years ago that several government Ministers, tourism chiefs and even IATA were advocating the closure of Don Mueang so that Bangkok would have just one airport and become a true regional aviation hub. This completely overlooked the fact that many major hub cities around the world have two or even three airports. With BKK then moving inexorably towards over-capacity, there was never the remotest chance that that airport could be expanded fast enough to cope with the number of arrivals then predicted. And of course that number was consigned to history within around two years.

Now the AoT has reported that last year every airport in the country apart from Chiang Rai operated considerably beyond its design capacity. DMK, which those pundits had considered unnecessary and has a design capacity of 30 million, handled 37.2 million passengers. BKK itself has operated well beyond capacity for several years – now 59.1 million compared to 45 million. Phuket is the worst with 16.2 million passengers compared to capacity of 8 million.

Part of the reason is the AoT has declined to keep a lid on new airlines and massively increased passenger arrivals while airport expansion projects are all way behind schedule. And the situation is unlikely to improve for another few years. BKK's new terminal was supposed to open on 31 March this year! Bidding for contracts only opened at the end of 2016!

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/transp ... congestion

neddy3
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#2 Re: Thai Airports Operating Way Beyond Capacity

Postby neddy3 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:33 pm

I have not been to Don Muang for a couple of years now. That was for a AirAsia flight to and from Siem Reap.
I remember it being very congested, and the taxi queue being long.
Guess it is much worse now.

Many years back, when Don Muang was the BKK airport, I remember that there were terminals 1 and 2, as well as a domestic terminal.
How many of these are currently in use?

fountainhall
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#3 Re: Thai Airports Operating Way Beyond Capacity

Postby fountainhall » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:42 pm

There are three terminals - one for the increasing number of chartered aircraft, a second international terminal and the third for mostly domestic flights. Before its closure, DMK (or BKK as it then was) handled 38 million passengers in its peak year of 2005. So it is now handling virtually an identical number of passengers with no increase in terminal space as far as I can see.

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Jun
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#4 Re: Thai Airports Operating Way Beyond Capacity

Postby Jun » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:58 pm

fountainhall wrote:When I think back I am always amazed it was not many years ago that several government Ministers, tourism chiefs and even IATA were advocating the closure of Don Mueang so that Bangkok would have just one airport and become a true regional aviation hub. This completely overlooked the fact that many major hub cities around the world have two or even three airports.

If I remember correctly, DMK was briefly closed after the opening of BKK.
Then it reopened with a minimal low cost service. At that time I had one hell of a job getting a taxi driver to take me from Mo Chit to DMK, as he was almost insisting on going to BKK. [I was so ****** off with that, I've used the bus every time since]. When I got there, the outside of the terminal was almost deserted.

Last time I was in DMK, they are refurbishing more & more of the airport, but it still seems to have more space left in the terminal.

What they should do is forcibly sell it off to a different owner -either a competent overseas airport company or a consortium with part ownership by one. Then Thailand will start to benefit from innovation & competition between the airports.

If we compare with the UK case, when BAA owned the 3 main London airports, they had no interest at all in adding runway capacity. Now when all 3 have different owners, at least 2 of them would like to add runways (if they could get past our slow planning rules).

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#5 Re: Thai Airports Operating Way Beyond Capacity

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:59 pm

Airports operating beyond their capacity comes as no surprise to me, considering just about everything else in Thailand that should have been much better planned was not.

Think of Bangkok's traffic problems, and now similar problems in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, elsewhere - and getting worse. The fairly new Highway 7 expressway frequently gets massive traffic jams. Very long lines and waiting times at toll booths. Don't even think about trying to find places to park in busy downtown areas. Often even shopping center parking is full to capacity.

Very long waits at places such as Pattaya's driving license office, often immigration offices, and most other government offices.

Often being able to get a seat on Bangkok's BTS and MRT.

Why would anyone expect things to be any different at the airports?

Oliver

#6 Re: Thai Airports Operating Way Beyond Capacity

Postby Oliver » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:15 pm

We use DM three times a year and have been doing so for a number of years; neddy's comment is unfair because they are out-of-date. There have been many improvements to the checking-in hall, immigration (it's two years since I was held-up), luggage retrieval and even taxis. I agree with him that, two years ago, the queue for taxis was much too long but that is not the case now.

Not that I like the airport; if cost was of no concern to us, we'd be flying from Swampy to avoid budget airlines but that's not the case. And Air Asia don't let us down.


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