Bangkok airport cannot take any more new flights, sector says


Bangkok’s main airport is bursting at the seams according to the aviation industry, which urged authorities Monday not to grant any more licences to use the facility.

“Authorities should come to their senses and realise Suvarnabhumi (International Airport) can no longer accommodate more flights beyond the current level,” said Louis Moser, chairman of the Airline Operators Committee.

“We know it’s a painful decision,” he told the Bangkok Post.

A record 52.4 million passengers passed through the airport from the start of the year through September, up 12.7 per cent from last year and exceeding official capacity by 17 per cent, the Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) said last week.

Suvarnabhumi has no restrictions on flights landed per hour. During peak times, the airport serves 11,000 passengers per hour, compared to 4,400 passengers off-peak.

The tourism ministry in May suggested a plan to restrict flights based on each airport’s capacity.

The shift of some airlines’ operations to Bangkok’s old airport, Don Mueang, to ease congestion is voluntary and is popular among low-cost and domestic flights.

The overcrowding is expected to worsen during the peak tourist season beginning later this month.

Moser said congestion will become unbearable if the AoT’s projection of 70.9 million passengers in 2016 comes true.

The Airline Operators Committee is a coalition of 86 international airlines and 26 aviation service providers.

Suvarnabhumi Airport opened in September 2006.