Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Suvarnabhumi Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport Logo.svg
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand 2.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Airports of Thailand PLC (AOT)
Serves Bangkok
Location 999 moo 1 Tambon Racha Thewa, Amphoe Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, Thailand
Hub for Asia Atlantic Airlines
Bangkok Airways
Business Air
Jet Asia Airways
Orient Thai Airlines
Thai Airways International
Thai Smile
Focus city for Cathay Pacific
China Airlines
SriLankan Airlines
Elevation AMSL 5 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 13°41′33″N 100°45′00″E / 13.69250°N 100.75000°E / 13.69250; 100.75000Coordinates: 13°41′33″N 100°45′00″E / 13.69250°N 100.75000°E / 13.69250; 100.75000
BKK is located in Bangkok
Location in Samut Prakan Province, Greater Bangkok
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01R/19L 4,260 13,976 Asphalt
01L/19R 3,810 12,500 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
International passengers 38,143,562
Domestic passengers 8,279,790
Total passengers 46,423,352
Aircraft movements 289,568
Source: Airports of Thailand[1]

Suvarnabhumi Airport (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ; rtgsSuwannaphum; pronounced  [sù.wān.ná.pʰūːm] (Thai pronunciation); from Sanskrit, सुवर्णभूमि, "Golden Land"), (IATA: BKKICAO: VTBS), also known as (New) Bangkok International Airport, is one of two international airports serving Bangkok, Thailand. The other is Don Mueang International Airport.[2][3]

Suvarnabhumi was officially opened for limited domestic flight service on 15 September 2006, and opened for most domestic and all international commercial flights on 28 September 2006.[4]

The airport is currently the main hub for Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways and Orient Thai Airlines. It also serves as regional gateway and connecting point for various foreign carriers.

The airport is located in Racha Thewa in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) east of downtown Bangkok. The name Suvarnabhumi was chosen by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and refers to the golden kingdom hypothesised to have been located somewhere in Southeast Asia.

The building was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy / Jahn Architects. It was constructed primarily by ITO JV. The airport has the world's tallest free-standing control tower (132.2 metres or 434 feet), and the world's fourth largest single-building airport terminal (563,000 square metres or 6,060,000 square feet).

Suvarnabhumi is the sixteenth busiest airport in the world, sixth busiest airport in Asia, and the busiest in the country, having handled 53 million passengers in 2012,[1] and is also a major air cargo hub, with a total of 96 airlines. On social networks, Suvarnabhumi is the world's most popular place where Instagram photographs were taken in 2012.[5]

The airport inherited the airport code, BKK, from Don Mueang after the older airport ceased international commercial flights. A modern motorway no.7 connects the airport, Bangkok, and the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard of Thailand, where most of the manufacturing for export takes place.


Terminal interior
Border between the concourse and the terminal seen from the arrival area
Inner courtyard as seen from the luggage claim room
Inner courtyard and terminal structure by night
Departure hall
A play area, entitled Wonder World, at the airport's departure lounge
A depiction of the Samudra manthan at the airport

Land purchase, early construction[edit]

Planning of a second international airport for Bangkok started in the early 1960s. The process was slow from the start: as early as 1968, critics were already charging that the project was "five to seven years" behind the main schedule.[6]

The 8,400 acres (3,400 ha) plot of land occupied by the airport was purchased in 1973, but the student-led protests on 14 October that year led the overthrow of the military government of Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn and the project was shelved.[7] After a series of ups and downs, the "New Bangkok International Airport" company (NBIA) was formed in 1996. Due to political and economic instabilities, notably the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the civil construction began six years later in January 2002 by the government of Thaksin Shinawatra. The airport is located in a once low-lying marsh, formerly known as Nong Ngu Hao (Thai: หนองงูเห่า, lit. "Cobra Swamp"), which took five years (1997–2001) to clear make a land reclamation. In 2005, the construction supervision and management was transferred to the Airports of Thailand PLC, while the NBIA company was dissolved.[citation needed]

Early construction, airport tests, and official opening[edit]

The airport was due to open in late 2005, but a series of budget overruns, construction flaws, and allegations of corruption plagued the project.

A further delay was caused by the discovery that the airport had been built over an old graveyard, and superstitious construction workers claimed to have seen ghosts there. On 23 September 2005, the Thai airports authority held a ceremony where 99 Buddhist monks chanted to appease the spirits.[8]

Full tests of the airport took place on 3 and 29 July 2006. Six airlines – Thai Airways International, Nok Air, Thai Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, PBair, and One-Two-GO – used the airport as a base for twenty domestic flights.[9][10] The first international test flights were conducted on 1 September 2006. Two THAI's aircraft, Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A300-600, simultaneously departed the airport at 09:19 to Singapore and Hong Kong. At 15:50 the same aircraft flew back and made simultaneous touchdowns on runways 19L and 19R. These test flights demonstrated the readiness of the airport to handle heavy traffic.

On 15 September 2006, the airport started limited daily operations with Jetstar Asia Airways operating three Singapore to Bangkok flights 3K511.[clarification needed] The first commercial arrival Singapore flight 3K512 and Thai Airways International operating some domestic flights to Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai and Ubon Ratchathani. Bangkok Airways moved on 21 September, AirAsia and Thai AirAsia followed suit on 25 September and on 26 September Nok Air moved to Suvarnabhumi Airport. During this initial phase, as well as in the previous tests, the airport used the temporary IATA code NBK.[citation needed]

Suvarnabhumi officially opened at 03:00 on 28 September 2006, taking over all flights from Don Mueang. The first flight to arrive was Lufthansa Cargo flight LH8442 from Mumbai at 03:05.[11] The first commercial when officially opened arrival was from Japan Airlines at 03:30. The first passenger arrival was Aerosvit flight VV171 from Kiev at 04:30, and the first cargo departure was Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SV-984 to Riyadh at 05:00.[12] Aerosvit also had the first passenger departure (VV172 to Kiev) around 05:30.[13]

Initial difficulties[edit]

Many difficulties were recorded in the first few days of the airport's operation. On the first day alone, sluggish luggage claims were common – the very first passenger arrival by Aerosvit took an hour for the luggage to start coming out, and some flights did not have their luggage coming out even after four hours. Also flights were delayed (Thai Airways claimed that 17 of 19 flights were delayed that day), and there were also failures with the check-in system.[14][15] Subsequent problems included the failure of the cargo computer system, and the departure boards displaying the wrong information, resulting in confused passengers (especially as unlike Don Muang, there were no "final calls" issued).[16]

Months into its opening, issues such as congestion, construction quality, signage, provision of facilities, and soil subsidence continued to plague the project, prompting calls to reopen Don Mueang to allow for repairs to be done.[17] Expert opinions varied widely regarding the extent of Suvarnabhumi's problems as well as their root cause; most airlines stated that damage to the airport was minimal.[18][19] Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont decided on 16 February 2007 to reopen Don Mueang for domestic flights on a voluntary basis, with 71 weekly flights moved back initially, with no international flights allowed.[20]

Capacity and safety issues[edit]

Problems with the tarmac[edit]

In January 2007, ruts were discovered in the runways at Suvarnabhumi.[21] The east runway was scheduled to close for repairs. Expert opinions have varied widely as to the root cause of the ruts.[18] Airport authorities and airline representatives maintained that the airport was still safe and resisted suggestions that the airport should be completely closed and all flights moved back to Don Muang.[22]

On 27 January 2007, however, the Department of Civil Aviation declined to renew the airport's safety certificate, which expired the previous day. The ICAO requires that international airports hold aerodrome safety certificates, but Suvarnabhumi will continue to operate because the ICAO requirement has yet to be adopted as part of Thai law.[23]

Plans to re-open Don Mueang for domestic flights[edit]

In January 2007, Thai Airways announced a plan to move some of its domestic operations back to Don Muang International Airport due to overcrowding. Three days later, the Ministry of Transport recommended temporarily reopening Don Muang while repair work on the runways at Suvarnabhumi proceeds. At that time, Thai Airways said it would shift most of its domestic flights back to Don Muang while keeping flights with high international passenger connections such as Chiang Mai and Phuket at Suvarnabhumi. On 28 March 2009, Thai Airways discontinued all domestic flights from Don Muang. Bangkok Airways and One-Two-GO had similar plans, but Bangkok Airways remained at Suvarnabhumi. Thai AirAsia said it would not move unless it could shift both its international and domestic operations, prompting them to stay at Suvarnabhumi for the time being. Nok Air and PBair were undecided, but Nok Air later relocated all their flights to Don Muang, where they operate today.[24][25] As of January 2010, only Nok Air and One-Two-Go operate domestic flights from Don Muang Airport. PBair have ceased operations altogether. One-Two-Go was integrated into Orient Thai Airlines in July 2010, but continues to operate from Don Muang Airport. As of 1 October 2012 Air Asia has moved all of its Bangkok operations to Don Muang International Airport (DMK) from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).[26]

Thai Airbus A340-500 (HS-TLA) at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Repair and upgrades[edit]

Airports of Thailand found that the cost of fixing 60 identified problems at the airport would be less than 1% of the total airline cost and the problems could be fixed in up to four to five years. Dr. Narupol Chaiyut, a member of a committee overseeing service problems at the new airport, estimated that 70% of the problems would be fixed within 2007. Twenty of the 60 problems were successfully fixed by February 2007.[27]


Suvarnabhumi Airport's main terminal roof is designed with structural elements and bays placed in a cantilevered, wavelike form to appear to "float" over the concourse beneath. This overall design principle was to express the former essence of the site, from which water had to be drained before construction could begin. The eight composite 2,710-ton trusses supporting the canopy of the main terminal are essentially diagrams of the bending movements acting on them, with the greatest depth at mid-span and over the supports.[28]

The result of Helmut Jahn's vision is a structure with performance materials serve in their total composition and in use more than in their conventional roles. This maximizes daylight use in comfort with substantial energy life-cycle cost savings. The installed cooling system reduced up to 50% compared to a conventional system. A translucent membrane with three layers was developed to mediate between the interior and exterior climate, dealing with noise and temperature transmission, while still allowing natural flow of daylight into building.[29]


Suvarnabhumi Airport Control Tower, the world's tallest

On 25 January 2007, due to work to the upgrading the taxiways, which suffered from small cracks, few incoming flights were delayed and several flights were safely diverted to a nearby operating U-Tapao International Airport in Rayong province.[30]

On 26 November 2008, an illegal occupation of the airport took place by People's Alliance for Democracy, closing the departure lounge and blocking exits and causing almost three thousand passengers stranded within the main terminal, another 350,000 were stranded inside the country, as all flights were grounded for a short while. The People's Alliance for Democracy seized the control tower at 12:00 am.[31] On 2 December 2008, protesters agreed to leave the airport as they had been illegally protesting and permitted the resumption of flights. Security checks, clean-ups and re-certification once the illegal occupation ended delayed the airport from being fully functional until 5 December 2008.[32]

Predatory irregularities[edit]

Petty thieves and confidence men, the majority of them illegal taxi drivers or tour guides, are known to prey on tourists in the arrival hall. They belong to politically-well connected criminal groups: Kamnan Samruay, Boonruang Srisang, Sak Pakphanang, the Pattaya Mafia and Phuyai Daeng.[33] Evicting them has proved difficult as they allegedly are well connected. (The head of the Pirap gang is supposedly related to an Airports of Thailand executive, while the Phuyai Daeng has ties to influential civil servants in Samut Prakan.)[33]

On 1 October 2010, two hundred armed men occupied the airport's parking area for an hour, blocking the building's entrances and seizing ticket booths to collect fares from motorists.[34] Airport security personnel failed to respond, reportedly because of an internal dispute within the Parking Management Company, the firm contracted to run the parking facilities.[34]


Current Airport layout

Costing an estimated ฿155 billion (US$5 billion), the airport has two parallel runways (60 m wide, 4,000 m and 3,700 m long) and two parallel taxiways to accommodate simultaneous departures and arrivals.[35] It has a total of 120 parking bays (51 with contact gates and 69 remote gates), with five of these capable of accommodating the Airbus A380. The main passenger terminal building, with a capacity of handling 76 flight operations per hour, co-locates the international and domestic terminals, though assigning them to different parts of the concourse. In the initial phase of construction, it will be capable of handling 45 million passengers and 3 million tonnes of cargo per year. Above the underground rail link station and in front of the passenger terminal building is a 600-room hotel operated by Accor Group under the Novotel brand.

The airport's passenger terminal is the world's largest passenger terminal ever constructed in one phase at 563,000 square metres (6,060,000 sq ft), and is also currently the fourth biggest passenger terminal building in the world, after the Hong Kong International Airport (570,000 square metres or 6,100,000 square feet), Beijing Capital International Airport (990,000 square metres or 10,700,000 square feet), with the largest passenger terminal being at Dubai International Airport (Terminal 3 is over 1,500,000 square metres or 16,000,000 square feet). The airport air-traffic control tower is the tallest in world history at 135 metres (443 ft).[citation needed]

Suvarnabhumi Airport has 72 jet bridges and 69 non-jet bridges. Additionally, flights are also able to park at remote locations on the ramp, from which airport buses transport passengers to and from the terminal. Suvarnabhumi Airport has 18 jet bridges and 6 non-jet bridges for Airbus 380–800[citation needed]


On 15 December 2011 Airports of Thailand (AOT) announced to speed up the second phase expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport to 2016, one year ahead of its scheduled completion in 2017. An investment of 62.5 billion baht ($1.95 billion USD/€1.49 billion EURO) is being planned for the second phase, according to then Transport Minister Sukampol Suwannathat. The plan is to strengthen Suvarnabhumi Airport's position as a regional aviation hub. Phase Two would raise the airport's capacity to 65 million passengers a year and should also be undertaken in parallel with the construction of the new domestic terminal.[36] Earlier transport Minister ACM Sukampol Suwannathat gave the green light to Airports of Thailand (AoT)'s plan to carry out the expansion of Suvarnabhumi airport with the construction of a new domestic terminal. The new domestic terminal will be capable of handling 20 million passengers a year. Estimated cost is 9.2 billion Baht.($2.96 billion USD/€2.04 billion EURO) The two expansion projects are part of the overall airport enlargement that would see Suvarnabhumi raise its annual passenger handling capacity to 125 million passengers, 90 million international and 35 million domestic passengers by 2024 at an estimated cost of 163 billion baht.($5.25 billion USD/€3.62 billion EURO) The expansion includes the construction of one additional runway from two at the present, subsequent enlargement of domestic and international terminals and improvements to parking bays, car parks and other airport infrastructure.[37][38]

Simulated aerial photograph of full extended Suvarnabhumi Airport during 2030–2040. From the right; current terminal, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th phase.

An expansion plan to increase the passenger capacity of the airport to 65 million by building an additional satellite passenger terminal linked to the current main terminal via an underground automated people mover (APM) system is set to be voted on by the AOT board during a 17 May 2012 meeting. If the plan gains endorsement by the board it will be able to proceed to appointing a project management consultant (PMC) which will bring it one step closer to commencing construction on the much needed expansion. If all goes to plan the expansion is set to be completed in 2018. The expansion also includes a plan to expand the airport parking garage as well as the expansion of the eastern end of the main passenger terminal by 135 meters along with the construction of a new airline office building. The expansion does not include plans to construct a third runway, however. According the Bangkok Post, the new satellite terminal will have a total of 28 gates, with 8 for the Airbus A380 superjumbo jet.[39]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Countries served by flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport (includes seasonal and future destinations).
Air France Airbus A340-313X takeoff from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Austrian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Tiger Airways Airbus A320 taxiing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Kuwait Airways Airbus A340-300 taxiing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Thai Airways International Airbus A330-300 taxiing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Bangkok Airways Airbus A319 landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Thai Airways International Boeing 747-400 with Star Alliance livery at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Bangkok Airways ATR 72 taxiing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 taxiing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 taxiing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Airlines Destinations Concourse
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo International
Air Astana Almaty, Astana International
Air Austral Chennai, Saint-Denis de la Réunion International
Air China Beijing-Capital International
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle International
Air India Delhi, Mumbai International
Air Koryo Pyongyang International
Air Macau Macau International
Air Madagascar Antananarivo, Guangzhou International
All Nippon Airways Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita International
Asia Atlantic Airlines Tokyo-Narita,Denpasar/Bali International
Asiana Airlines Seoul-Incheon International
Austrian Airlines Vienna International
Bangkok Airways Dhaka, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Luang Prabang, Malé, Mandalay,[40] Mumbai, Naypyidaw,[40] Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Singapore, Vientiane, Yangon International
Bangkok Airways Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ko Samui, Krabi, Lampang, Phuket, Sukhothai, Trat, Udon Thani Domestic
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka International
British Airways London-Heathrow International
Business Air Seoul-Incheon, Chongqing, Yangon,[41] Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta International
Cambodia Angkor Air Phnom Penh, Siem Reap International
Cathay Pacific Colombo, Hong Kong, Singapore International
Cebu Pacific Manila International
China Airlines Amsterdam, Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan International
China Eastern Airlines Chengdu,[42] Kunming, Nanchang, Ningbo, Shanghai-Pudong, Wuxi, Xi'an, Xining,[43] Yinchuan[44]
Seasonal: Hangzhou, Hefei
China Southern Airlines Changsha, Guangzhou, Guilin, Jieyang, Nanning, Shenzhen,[45] Wuhan, Zhengzhou International
Delta Air Lines Tokyo-Narita International
Druk Air Bagdogra, Dhaka, Guwahati, Thimphu/Paro International
Eastar Jet Seoul-Incheon International
EgyptAir Cairo, Kuala Lumpur International
El Al Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion International
Emirates Christchurch, Dubai-International, Hong Kong, Sydney International
Enter Air Charter: Warsaw-Chopin International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Kuala Lumpur International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi International
EVA Air Amsterdam, London-Heathrow, Taipei-Taoyuan, Vienna International
Finnair Helsinki International
Garuda Indonesia Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta International
Golden Myanmar Airlines Yangon International
Gulf Air Bahrain International
Hainan Airlines Beijing-Capital, Haikou, Nanning International
Happy Air Ranong Domestic
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong International
IndiGo Kolkata International
Japan Airlines Nagoya-Centrair,[46] Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita International
Jeju Air Busan, Daegu, Seoul-Incheon International
Jet Airways Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai International
Jet Asia Airways Tokyo-Narita,[47] Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta International
Jetstar Airways Melbourne International
Jetstar Asia Airways Fukuoka,[48] Singapore International
Jetstar Pacific Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City International
Jin Air Seoul-Incheon International
Juneyao Airlines Shanghai-Pudong International
Kenya Airways Hong Kong, Nairobi-Jomo Kenaytta International
KLM Amsterdam International
Korean Air Busan, Seoul-Incheon International
Kuwait Airways Kuwait, Manila International
Lao Airlines Luang Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet, Vientiane International
Lao Central Airlines Vientiane International
Lufthansa Frankfurt International
Mahan Air Tehran-Imam Khomeini International
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur International
MIAT Mongolian Airlines Charter: Ulaanbaatar International
Myanmar Airways International Yangon International
Nepal Airlines Kathmandu International
Nordwind Airlines[49] Seasonal Charter: Arkhangelsk,[50] Irkutsk, Kazan, Kemerovo, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo, Mineralnye Vody, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, St. Petersburg, Surgut, Tomsk, Ufa, Ulan-Ude, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg International
Norwegian Air Shuttle Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda International
Okay Airways Xi'an International
Oman Air Muscat International
Orient Thai Airlines Hong Kong International
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore International
Philippine Airlines Manila International
Qantas Sydney International
Qeshm Airlines Tehran-Imam Khomeini [51] International
Qatar Airways Doha, Hanoi International
Regent Airways Chittagong, Dhaka International
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan International
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur International
S7 Airlines Irkutsk[52]
Seasonal: Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo,[53] Novosibirsk[54]
Shanghai Airlines Chongqing, Shanghai-Pudong International
Shenzhen Airlines Fuzhou, Shenzhen International
Singapore Airlines Singapore International
SpiceJet Kolkata International
Spring Airlines Hangzhou,[55] Shanghai-Pudong International
SriLankan Airlines Colombo, Guangzhou, Hong Kong International
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich International
Tashi Air Kolkata, Thimphu/Paro[56] International
Thai Airways Auckland, Bangalore, Beijing-Capital, Brisbane, Brussels, Busan, Chengdu, Chennai, Colombo, Copenhagen, Delhi, Dhaka, Denpasar/Bali, Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid (ends 7 September 2015),[57] Manila, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Oslo-Gardermoen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Penang, Perth, Phnom Penh, Rome-Fiumicino, Sapporo-Chitose Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Stockholm-Arlanda, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Xiamen, Yangon, Zürich
Seasonal: Gaya, Sendai, Varanasi
Thai Airways Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Ko Samui, Krabi, Phuket Domestic
Thai Smile Ahmedabad, Changsha, Chongqing, Luang Prabang, Macau (ends 16 May 2015),[58] Mandalay, Vientiane International
Thai Smile Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani Domestic
Tigerair Singapore International
Transaero Airlines Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Vnukovo[59]
Seasonal: Blagoveshchensk, Irkutsk, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
TransAsia Airways Taipei-Taoyuan International
Travel Service Airlines Charter: Budapest, Prague International
Turkish Airlines Ho Chi Minh City, Istanbul-Atatürk International
Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat International
T'way Airlines Seoul-Incheon International
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil[60] International
UTair Aviation Charter: Irkutsk, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don International
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent International
VietJet Air Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City International
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City International
Xiamen Airlines Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Xiamen International
Cities with a direct international airlink to Suvarnabhumi Airport


Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air Hong Kong Hong Kong, Penang
ANA Cargo Osaka-Kansai, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
Asiana Cargo Seoul-Incheon
Cardig Air Hong Kong, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Singapore
Cargolux Baku, Luxembourg, Shanghai-Pudong, Xiamen
Cathay Pacific Cargo Hong Kong, Penang, Singapore
China Airlines Cargo Abu Dhabi, Chengdu, Luxembourg, Taipei-Taoyuan
China Cargo Airlines Shanghai-Pudong
DHL Aviation
operated by AeroLogic
Leipzig/Halle,[61] Singapore[citation needed]
EVA Air Cargo Jakarta-Soekarno–Hatta, Penang, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan[62]
FedEx Express Guangzhou
K-Mile Air Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta
Korean Air Cargo Seoul-Incheon, Singapore
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Mumbai, Sharjah
Martinair Amsterdam, Muscat, Sharjah[63]
MASKargo Kuala Lumpur
Nippon Cargo Airlines Singapore, Tokyo-Narita
Singapore Airlines Cargo Singapore
Thai Airways International Amsterdam, Chennai, Delhi, Frankfurt, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
Tri-MG Intra Asia Airlines Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh
Turkish Airlines Cargo Almaty, Delhi, Istanbul-Atatürk, Tashkent[64]
ULS Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk
UPS Airlines Cologne/Bonn, Dubai-International, Mumbai
Yanda Airlines Coimbatore, Delhi, Pune, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Tokyo-Narita
Yangtze River Express Shanghai-Pudong

Traffic and statistics[edit]

Busiest international routes[edit]

Busiest international routes to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport (2013)[65]
Rank Airport Passengers handled 2013  % Change
Passengers Handled 2012
1 Hong Kong 3,566,950 Increase9.17 3,267,195
2 Singapore 3,344,500 Decrease1.84 3,407,354
3 Seoul-Incheon 2,121,430 Increase1.25 2,095,145
4 Tokyo-Narita 1,787,405 Increase13.46 1,575,302
5 Taipei-Taoyuan 1,328,120 Increase17.03 1,134,857
6 Shanghai-Pudong 1,279,536 Increase40.12 913,177
7 Dubai-International 1,196,795 Increase12.23 1,066,391
8 Kuala Lumpur 1,029,057 Decrease29.21 1,453,681
9 Guangzhou 894,087 Decrease3.29 924,457
10 New Delhi 865,595 Increase0.83 858,511
11 Ho Chi Minh City 838,856 Decrease10.86 941,065
12 Beijing-Capital 826,018 Increase26.41 653,435
13 Abu Dhabi 768,051 Increase7.12 717,032
14 Yangon 766,279 Decrease11.21 863,035
15 London-Heathrow 707,294 Increase1.03 700,049
16 Manila 865,595 Increase34.78 642,218
17 Doha 671,402 Increase19.31 562,726
18 Hanoi 654,945 Increase0.06 654,549
19 Osaka-Kansai 609,645 Increase8.68 560,947
20 Sydney 608,515 Increase0.81 603,608
21 Mumbai 604,156 Decrease19.16 747,384
22 Frankfurt 592,522 Increase0.9 587,228
23 Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta 588,171 Increase21.32 484,822
24 Tokyo-Haneda 500,275 Increase5.12 475,913
25 Amsterdam 456,811 Increase3.12 443,005
26 Paris-Charles de Gaulle 453,531 Increase9.52 414,108
27 Calcutta 434,281 Increase1.67 427,137
28 Phnom Penh 428,845 Decrease4.51 449,122
29 Melbourne 416,847 Decrease6.28 444,761
30 Busan 373,709 Increase11.1 336,363
31 Colombo 367,232 Decrease3.55 380,757
32 Macau 351,853 Decrease33.58 529,746
33 Nagoya-Centrair 332,906 Increase18.93 279,929
34 Vientiane 319,278 Increase15.47 276,503
35 Moscow-Domodedovo 316,055 Decrease7.2 340,594
36 Zürich 299,831 Decrease1.41 304,131
37 Copenhagen 291,740 Decrease21.59 372,068
38 Muscat 285,836 Decrease0.79 288,109
39 Istanbul-Atatürk 285,312 Increase12.66 253,247
40 Moscow-Sheremetyevo 266,889 Increase32.64 201,216
41 Helsinki 262,456 Increase0.06 262,301
42 Siem Reap 262,154 Increase12.09 233,878
43 Stockholm-Arlanda 258,674 Increase12.87 229,170
44 Kunming 258,015 Increase35.23 190,796
45 Vienna 236,074 Increase1.64 232,274
46 Novosibirsk 212,715 Increase28.7 165,286
47 Dhaka 243,253 Decrease6.71 260,750
48 Oslo-Gardermoen 202,570 Increase37.78 147,022
49 Tel Aviv 209,384 Increase11.15 188,386
50 Munich 200,313 Decrease5.75 212,526

Busiest domestic routes[edit]

Busiest domestic routes to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport (2013)
Rank Airport Passengers handled 2013  % Change
Passengers Handled 2012
1 Phuket 2,469,226 Decrease25.19 3,302,196
2 Chiang Mai 1,948,297 Decrease23.67 2,552,333
3 Samui 1,198,434 Decrease15.97 1,426,247
4 Krabi 601,303 Decrease17.05 724,856
5 Khon Kaen 555,597 Increase8.17 513,612
6 Hatyai 432,525 Decrease58.72 1,047,850
7 Chiang Rai 396,072 Decrease40.46 665,263
8 Udon Thani 312,126 Decrease44.65 563,946
9 Surathani 163,599 Decrease57.30 383,160
10 Ubon Ratchathani 154,461 Decrease53.30 330,834

Traffic by calendar year[edit]

Passengers Change from previous year Movements Cargo
2008 38,603,490 1,173,084
2009 40,500,224 Increase04.9% 1,045,194
2010 42,784,967 Increase05.6% 1,310,146
2011 47,910,744 Increase012.0% 299,566
2012 53,002,328 Increase010.6% 312,493
2013 51,363,451 Decrease011.92% 288,004 1,236,223
2014 46,423,352 Decrease09.62% 289,568 1,234,176
Source: Airports Council International[66]

Ground transportation[edit]

Suvarnabhumi Station located right below the main terminal building
Departure drop off curb
Taxis stand is located outside the arrival hall on the same level

Airport Rail Link[edit]

The 30-billion baht Suvarnabhumi Airport Link was opened on 23 August 2010,[67] after multiple delays. The Airport Rail Link (ARL) is operated by SRTET, a subsidiary company of the State Railway of Thailand. The standard gauge line is 28.6 kilometers long and is elevated for most its length, running mostly above existing regional railway lines and parallel to the No. 7 Motorway and Si Rat Expressway. There is a short at-grade/underground segment as the line approaches the passenger terminal building of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The ARL has two interchange stations, namely Phaya Thai (changing for BTS Green Line services) and Makkasan (linking Phetchaburi station of the MRT Blue Line). Two train services are operated: the non-stop Express Line trains run between Suvarnabhumi and Makkasan (at a maximum speed of 160 km/hour); the commuter City Line trains that run between Suvarnabhumi and Phaya Thai, calling at all stations.[68] As of the end of 2010, Makkasan station is now serving as the City Airport Terminal with parking and baggage check-in facilities offered to passengers using the Express Line. In the future, the ARL will complement the SRT Red Line commuter service, which comprises two-meter gauge, dual-track lines. The ARL may also be extended from Phaya Thai to Don Mueang via Bang Sue, given that the old Don Mueang International Airport has now been reopened for civil aviation under a dual-airport policy.

Baggage check-in facilities for passengers travelling on flights operated by Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways are offered at Makkasan station (the city air terminal) .

Regional train[edit]

Meanwhile, SRT provides a suburban commuter train service between Hua Takhe (the nearest station to Suvarnabhumi on the East line) and the northern suburban city of Rangsit via downtown Bangkok and the old Don Mueang Airport. The train also connects with BTS and MRT at Phaya Thai and Phetchaburi stations respectively. A shuttle bus service linking the airport with Hua Takhe railway station is provided by BMTA. The train service is currently not as popular as the bus service because it requires a shuttle bus connection. The service will be stopped when the Airport Express Link is completed.[citation needed]


A free bus service connecting Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport operates from 05.00 until midnight.

BMTA No.555 Service from Rangsit via Din Daeng to Suvarnabhumi

Three air-conditioned city bus routes are operated by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) serve the airport's dedicated bus terminal

Counter of the AOT Limousine Service


The airport has five main access routes. Among these the most convenient route is via the Bangkok Chon Buri Motorway (Highway No. 7). Another main airport entrance is in Samut Prakan province via the expressway from Bang Na to Bang Pakong.

The airport has provided five convenient entrance routes. The main route is via the motorway in the north of Bangkok, directly connecting Bangkok's downtown and Chon Buri province, the industrial and harbor city in eastern Thailand. However, another main airport entrance is located in Samut Prakan province, connecting an elevated highway in the south of Bangkok which lies from Bang Na to Bang Pakong.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 2011 Statistics
  2. ^ "Don Mueang to be city budget air hub". Bankgok Post. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "AirAsia to shift to Don Mueang". Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  4. ^ USA Today, "Bangkok's new airport opens to first commercial flights", USA Today, 15 September 2006.
  5. ^ Bangkok Post, "Suvarnabhumi, Paragon top Instagram places list". Bangkok Post, 29 December 2012.
  6. ^ "New airport to be ready on time" [1][dead link], Bangkok Post, 5 November 1968.
  7. ^ Handley, Paul M. (2006). The King Never Smiles. Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10682-3.
  8. ^ Richard Lloyd Parry, "Poo Ming – a blue ghost who haunts $4bn airport", The Times, 27 September 2006
  9. ^ ThaiDay, "THAI discounts tickets for historic test flights", 1 July 2006.
  10. ^ "PM Thaksin says Suvarnabhumi Airport ready in two months"[dead link], MCOT, 29 July 2006.
  11. ^ Pennapa Hongthong, Just listen to our noisy nightmare, The Nation, 28 September 2006
  12. ^ Petchanet Pratruangkrai, Suchat Sritama, Exporters pan new export fees, The Nation, 27 September 2006
  13. ^ Kurt Hofmann, LH Cargo set to be first into Suvarnabhumi, ATW, 28 September 2006
  14. ^ Suchat Sritma, Touch down...into chaos, 29 September 2006
  15. ^ e-Travel Blackboard, Baggage ruffles up some feathers, but Suvarnabhumi still a success, 29 September 2006
  16. ^ The Nation, Airport shippers hit by computer failure, 2 October 2006
  17. ^ Some flight services will likely return the Don Muang Airport[dead link], The Nation, 29 January 2007.
  18. ^ a b The Nation, Engineers unable to agree on root cause of airport cracks, 10 February 2007
  19. ^ The Nation, THAI baulks at moving to Don Muang, 15 February 2007
  20. ^ Thailand backtracks on plan for second international airport, Channel NewsAsia, 16 February 2007
  21. ^ A Rough Takeoff for Bangkok's New Airport, Time, 25 January 2007
  22. ^ New airport's east runway to close for repairs, return to Don Muang mooted[dead link], Thai News Agency, MCOT, 27 January 2007.
  23. ^ "Bangkok airport officially unsafe"[dead link], CNN, 27 January 2007
  24. ^ Use Don Muang during repairs: 2 airlines, The Nation, 27 January 2007.
  25. ^ Move to use 2 airports gets mixed reception, The Nation, 31 January 2007.
  26. ^ AirAsia moves to Don Mueang Airport (1 October 2012), Air Asia, 13 August 2012.
  27. ^ B1bn needed to fix terminal problems over four to five years[dead link], Bangkok Post, 16 February 2007
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  34. ^ a b "AoT orders firm to end dispute after car park seizure". Bangkok Post 2 October 2010
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  36. ^ 2nd phase development to be finished one year ahead
  37. ^ Bangkok Post, Minister supports airport expansion, 30 August 2011.
  38. ^ Full article
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  40. ^ a b Bangkok Airways to become the first foreign carrier in Nay Pyi Taw Providing non-stop service from Bangkok – Bangkok Airways. (21 August 2013). Retrieved on 25 August 2013.
  41. ^ "Thailand-based Business Air to Fly Yangon-Bangkok route thrice a week from 31st August | Myanmar Visa Latest News". 26 September 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  42. ^ "China Eastern to Start Scheduled Chengdu – Bangkok Service from late-October 2013". Routesonline. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  43. ^ "国内部分城市直飞曼谷、普吉往返航线". China Eastern Airlines. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  44. ^ "China Eastern Airlines launches Yinchuan-Bangkok Service". MENAFN. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  45. ^ "China Southern Adds Shenzhen - Bangkok Service from late-March 2015". Airline Route. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  46. ^ "JAL W14 International Changes: Osaka – Los Angeles Resumes from late-March 2015". Airline Route. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
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  48. ^ "Jetstar launches low fares services between Singapore and Fukuoka" (Press release). Jetstar Asia Airways. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
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  56. ^ JL (17 August 2013). "Bhutan Airways to Start Kolkata / Bangkok Service from October 2013; Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  57. ^ "THAI Ends Madrid Service in September 2015". Airline Route. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
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  65. ^ [2]
  66. ^ "Passenger Traffic 2010 FINAL". Airports Council International. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  67. ^ "Airport Link to start commercial operation Aug 23". Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  68. ^ "Work starts on link to Bangkok's new airport". David Briginshaw, International Railway Journal, April 2005.

External links[edit]