The Prime Minister of Thailand has inspected the new satellite terminal at Bangkok Airport ahead of its opening next month.
The airport is expected to open its new satellite mid-field terminal on the 28th of September with an underground automatic people’s mover connecting the new terminal and the main terminal building.
Kirati Kitmanawat, Director of the Airport Authority of Thailand (AOT), stated that the Prime Minister, along with selected Cabinet Ministers, were present at the viewing of the Satellite 1 (SAT-1) terminal building.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha took the highly anticipated Automated People Mover (APM), which is the first ever installed in the Kingdom to be operated solely underground and to be used at an airport.
Is The Satellite Terminal at Bangkok Airport Ready To be Used?
The airport director himself stated that the SAT-1 building is ready to be opened in September after many months of trial runs and numerous tests on the systems.
Despite the engineering works being completed, there will be many trials runs to come, now with important stakeholders including airlines, shops, and dummy passengers.
Moreover, the airport will, from the 28th of September and onwards, welcome flights with more than 5 hours of ground time to dock at the SAT-1 building to test the readiness of the infrastructure.
This ‘soft opening’ will run until the end of the year for the full opening at the beginning of 2024.
The new SAT-1 has the ability to handle at least 15 million passengers per year, which will inevitably increase the annual capacity of the Bangkok airport from 45 million to 60 million, respectively.
The SAT-1 terminal is well equipped to handle 15 million passengers per annum with its impressive design of approximately 216,000 square meters, with 4 stories high and 2 stories underground.
The APM is located on the lowest ground floor, B2.
Shops and commercial areas are said to be located on the 4th floor, the conveyer belt systems are laid out on the Ground floor, the 2nd floor is reserved for arrival passengers, and the 3rd floor is for departing passengers.
The new design reflects the rich and deepness of Thai culture, including displaying sculpture and works of art, which reflects the traditional way of life that Thai people embraced for centuries.
Not only is this terminal decorated with ornaments, but it is also very friendly for travelers of all walks.
The new SAT-1 adapts a Universal Design, with facilities to cater to the disabled, a dedicated play area for children, a prayer room, and also a meditation room.
Moreover, throughout the terminal, there are chargers for tech-savvy passengers to stay connected and charge throughout their journey.
Not The Only Satellite Terminal…
The airport director stated that Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion is not only limited to the SAT-1 terminal. AOT plans to invest 8 billion Thai baht or USD 230 million for the East Expansion of the current Main Terminal Building.
This will add 60,000 square meters should the expansion is completed and will ease the bottleneck congestion at immigration and baggage claim.
The airport claims that the construction of the expansion will happen early next year.
The opening of SAT-1 marks the beginning of a new era at Suvarnabhumi, embracing modernity while maintaining a subtleness of Thai culture.
Importantly, this will increase Suvarnabhumi’s Airport capabilities.