Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Suvarnabhumi Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport Logo.svg
Bkk airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Airports of Thailand PCL (AOT)
Serves Bangkok and Samut Prakan
Location 999 Moo 1 Tambon Racha Thewa, Amphoe Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, Thailand
Hub for
Focus city for
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
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01R/19L 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
01L/19R 3,700 12,139 Asphalt
3rd Runway (Planning) 3,700 12,139 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Total passengers 55,892,428 Increase4.14%
International passengers 46,049,914 Increase5.65%
Domestic passengers 9,842,514 Increase13.35%
Aircraft movements 336,345 Increase6.08%
Freight (tonnes) 1,351,878 Increase5.82%
Sources: Airport[1]

Suvarnabhumi Airport (rtgsSuwannaphum;  [sù.wān.ná.pʰūːm][2]) (IATA: BKKICAO: VTBS), also known as (New) Bangkok International Airport, is one of two international airports serving Bangkok, Thailand. The other one is Don Mueang International Airport.[3][4] Suvarnabhumi covers an area of 3,240 hectares (8,000 acres).

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.[5]

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 on what had formerly been known as Nong Nguhao (Cobra Swamp) in Racha Thewa in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) east of downtown Bangkok. The terminal 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 twentieth busiest airport in the world, sixth busiest airport in Asia, and the busiest in the country, having handled 53 million passengers in 2012,[6] and is also a major air cargo hub, with a total of 95 airlines. On social networks, Suvarnabhumi was the world's most popular site for taking Instagram photographs in 2012.[7]

The airport inherited the airport code, BKK, from Don Mueang after the older airport ceased international commercial flights. The modern Motorway 7 connects the airport, Bangkok, and the heavily industrial eastern seaboard of Thailand, where most export manufacturing takes place.


The name Suvarnabhumi is Sanskrit for "Land of Gold" (Devanagari: स्वर्णभूमि, IAST: Svarṇabhūmi; Svarṇa is "Gold", Bhūmi is "Land"; literally "Golden Land"). The name was chosen by the late Thai monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej, and refers to the Hindu-Buddhist golden kingdom, theorised to have been located to the east of the Ganges, possibly somewhere in Southeast Asia. In Thailand, government proclamations and national museums insist that Suvarnabhumi was somewhere in the coast of central plain, near the ancient city of U Thong, which might be the origin of the Indianised Dvaravati culture.[8] Although the claims have not been substantiated by any historical records, the Thai government named the new Bangkok airport Suvarnabhumi Airport, in celebration of this tradition.


Terminal interior
Border between the concourse and the terminal seen from the arrival area
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]

The need for the new airport was recognized in 1973 when 8,000 acres of land was purchased 40 kilometres east of Bangkok. The site, known as Cobra Swamp, was drained and named Suvarnabhumi, meaning "realm of gold". On 14 October 1973, student-led protests led to the overthrow of the military government of Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn and the project was shelved.

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, construction did not begin until six years later in January 2002 by the government of Thaksin Shinawatra.

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. 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.[9]

Full tests of the airport took place on 3 and 29 July 2006. Six airline—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.[10][11] The first international test flights were conducted on 1 September 2006. Two Thai Airways aircraft, a Boeing 747-400 and an 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 traffic.[citation needed]

On 15 September 2006, the airport started limited daily operations with Jetstar Asia Airways operating three Singapore to Bangkok flights. Bangkok Airways moved to the airport on 21 September. AirAsia and Thai AirAsia followed 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 a Lufthansa Cargo flight LH8442 from Mumbai at 03:05.[12] The first commercial arrival was 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.[13] Aerosvit also had the first passenger departure (VV172 to Kiev) around 05:30.[14]

Initial difficulties[edit]

Difficulties were reported in the first few days of the airport's operation. On the first day alone, sluggish luggage handling was common—the 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. Flights were delayed (Thai Airways claimed that 17 of 19 flights were delayed that day), and there were failures with the check-in system.[15][16] 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 Mueang, there were no "final calls" issued).[17]

Months after its opening, issues of 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 made.[18] Expert opinions varied widely on the extent of Suvarnabhumi's problems as well as their root cause. Most airlines stated that damage to the airport was minimal.[19][20] Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont reopened Don Mueang for domestic flights on a voluntary basis on 16 February 2007, with 71 weekly flights moved back initially, but no international flights.[21]

Capacity and safety issues[edit]

Tarmac problems[edit]

In January 2007, ruts were discovered in the runways at Suvarnabhumi.[22] The east runway was scheduled to close for repairs. Expert opinions varied as to the cause of the ruts.[19] 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 Mueang.[23]

On 27 January 2007, the Department of Civil Aviation declined to renew the airport's safety certificate, which had expired the previous day. The ICAO requires that international airports hold aerodrome safety certificates, but Suvarnabhumi continued to operate because the ICAO requirement had yet to be adopted as part of Thai law.[24]

As of early-2016 tarmac problems persist at Suvarnabhumi. Soft spots on the tarmac, taxiways, and apron area have not been permanently fixed. Aircraft get stuck on the soft surfaces that are the result of sub-standard materials. "The constant resurfacing of the tarmac, taxiways and apron area with asphalt is an unacceptable patchwork solution. We literally need a "concrete" solution," said Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO.[25]

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 Mueang International Airport due to overcrowding. Three days later, the Ministry of Transport recommended temporarily reopening Don Mueang while repair work on the runways at Suvarnabhumi proceeded. At that time, Thai Airways said it would shift most of its domestic flights back to Don Mueang 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 Mueang. 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 flights to Don Mueang, where they operate today.[26][27] As of January 2010, only Nok Air and One-Two-Go operated domestic flights from Don Mueang Airport. PBair have ceased operations altogether. One-Two-Go was integrated into Orient Thai Airlines in July 2010, but continues to operate from Don Mueang Airport. As of 1 October 2012 Air Asia has moved all of its Bangkok operations to Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).[28]

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 one percent 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 percent of the problems would be fixed in 2007. Twenty of the 60 problems were successfully fixed by February 2007.[29]


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 moments acting on them, with the greatest depth at mid-span and over the supports.[30]

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 percent 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.[31]


Suvarnabhumi Airport Control Tower, the world's tallest

On 25 January 2007, due to work upgrading the taxiways which suffered from small cracks, a few incoming flights were delayed and several flights were safely diverted to U-Tapao International Airport in Rayong Province.[32]

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 leaving almost 3,000 passengers stranded in the main terminal and another 350,000 stranded inside the country, as all flights were grounded. The People's Alliance for Democracy seized the control tower at 12:00.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35] 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).[35]

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.[36] 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.[36]


Current Airport layout

Costing an estimated 155 billion baht (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.[37] 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 three 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 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 the world at 135 metres (443 ft).[citation needed]

Suvarnabhumi Airport has 72 jet bridges and 69 non-jet bridges. Additionally, flights are 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]

From the opening of Suvarnabhumi in 2006 to early-2017, eight people had fallen to their deaths from upper-floor walkways, prompting the airport to spend 33 million baht in 2013 building glass barriers to stop people falling or taking their lives.[38]


On 15 December 2011 Airports of Thailand (AOT) announced the speed up of 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 (US$1.95 billion/€1.49 billion) 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 would be undertaken in parallel with the construction of the new domestic terminal.[39]

Former 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.(US$2.96 billion/€2.04 billion).[citation needed]

By mid-2015, the airport was handling more than 800 flights per day, higher than its 600-flight capacity. It has exceeded its capacity of 45 million passengers per year.[40]

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.(US$5.25 billion/€3.62 billion) The expansion includes the construction of one additional runway, subsequent enlargement of domestic and international terminals, and improvements to parking bays, car parks, and other airport infrastructure.[41]

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 include plans to construct a third runway of 3,700 meters. According to the Bangkok Post, the new satellite terminal will have a total of 28 gates, with eight for the Airbus A380 super jumbo jet.[42]

The new passenger terminal will be used only by Bangkok Airways and flag carrier Thai Airways (and its budget subsidiary Thai Smile). Upon completion of satellite terminal, expected opening in early 2019, other Star Alliance members will be given a check-in concourse of Thai Airways.[43]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo
operated by Rossiya
Air Astana Almaty, Astana
Air Austral Saint–Denis de la Réunion
Air China Beijing–Capital, Hangzhou, Tianjin
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air India Delhi, Mumbai
Air Macau Macau
All Nippon Airways Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita
Asia Atlantic Airlines Charter: Denpasar/Bali, Harbin, Sapporo–Chitose, Shenyang, Tokyo–Narita
Asiana Airlines Seoul–Incheon
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Azur Air Seasonal Charter: Barnaul, Blagoveshchensk, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Kemerovo, Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Moscow–Domodedovo, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Surgut, Tyumen, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
Bangkok Airways Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Da Nang, Dhaka, Ko Samui, Krabi, Lampang, Luang Prabang, Malé, Mandalay, Mumbai, Naypyidaw, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Siem Reap, Sukhothai, Trat, Vientiane, Yangon
Beijing Capital Airlines Guiyang, Xi'an, Zhanjiang
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka
Bhutan Airlines Gaya , Kolkata, Thimphu/Paro
British Airways London–Heathrow
Cambodia Angkor Air Phnom Penh, Siem Reap
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, Singapore
Cebu Pacific Manila
China Airlines Kaohsiung, Taipei–Taoyuan
China Eastern Airlines Chengdu, Kunming, Lanzhou, Nanchang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai–Pudong, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Wuxi, Taiyuan, Xi'an, Xining, Yinchuan
Seasonal: Beijing–Capital, Hangzhou, Hefei
China Southern Airlines Changsha, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Jieyang, Lanzhou, Nanning, Shenzhen, Urumqi, Wuhan, Zhengzhou
Chongqing Airlines Chongqing
Druk Air Bagdogra, Gaya, Guwahati, Kolkata, Thimphu/Paro
Eastar Jet Jeju, Seoul–Incheon
EgyptAir Cairo, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta,Kuala Lumpur-International
El Al Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Emirates Auckland, Dubai–International, Hong Kong, Sydney
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Kuala Lumpur–International (ends 31 May 2017)[44]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
operated by SunExpress Deutschland
EVA Air Amsterdam, London–Heathrow, Taipei–Taoyuan, Vienna
Finnair Helsinki
Flydubai Dubai–International
Garuda Indonesia Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta, Mumbai
Gulf Air Bahrain
Hainan Airlines Beijing–Capital, Haikou, Nanning, Sanya
Hebei Airlines Shijiazhuang
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong
IndiGo Kolkata
Intira Airlines Chongqing, Seoul–Incheon
Hajj Charter: Jeddah
Japan Airlines Nagoya–Centrair, Osaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita
Jeju Air Busan, Seoul–Incheon
Jet Airways Delhi, Mumbai
Jet Asia Airways Tokyo–Narita, Jakarta-Soekarno Hatta
Jetstar Airways Melbourne
Jetstar Asia Airways Singapore
Jetstar Pacific Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue
Charter: Cam Ranh
Jin Air Seoul–Incheon
Juneyao Airlines Shanghai–Pudong, Shenyang
Kenya Airways Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta
KLM Amsterdam
Korean Air Busan, Seoul–Incheon
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lao Airlines Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, Vientiane
LOT Polish Airlines Seasonal Charter: Warsaw–Chopin
Lucky Air Kunming
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Mahan Air Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Myanmar Airways International Mandalay, Yangon
Myanmar National Airlines Mandalay, Yangon
Nepal Airlines Kathmandu
Nordwind Airlines Seasonal Charter: Arkhangelsk, Chita, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kemerovo, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk–Yemelyanovo, Mineralnye Vody, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Petropavlovsk–Kamchatsky, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, St. Petersburg, Surgut, Tomsk, Ufa, Ulan–Ude, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Yuzhno–Sakhalinsk
Norwegian Air Shuttle Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Okay Airways Tianjin, Xi'an
Oman Air Muscat
Orient Thai Airlines Hong Kong
Peach Naha
Pegas Fly Seasonal Charter: Saint Petersburg
Philippine Airlines Manila
Qantas Sydney
Qatar Airways Doha, Hanoi
Regent Airways Chittagong, Dhaka
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan
Royal Flight Seasonal Charter: Barnaul, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhnevartovsk, Novosibirsk, Novukuznetsk, Omsk, Surgut, Tomsk, Vladivostok
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur–International
S7 Airlines Irkutsk
Seasonal: Krasnoyarsk–Yemelyanovo, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok
Shandong Airlines Jinan, Kunming, Qingdao, Urumqi, Xiamen
Shanghai Airlines Beijing–Capital, Chongqing, Shanghai–Pudong, Wenzhou
Shenzhen Airlines Fuzhou, Jieyang, Quanzhou, Shenzhen, Xi'an, Wuxi
Seasonal: Guangzhou
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu, Haikou, Sanya
Singapore Airlines Singapore
SpiceJet Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata
Spring Airlines Beihai, Changchun, Changzhou, Chengdu, Dalian, Fuzhou, Harbin, Hangzhou, Hohhot, Jinan, Lanzhou, Luoyang, Nanchang, Ningbo, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenyang, Shijiazhuang, Yangzhou, Yinchuan
SriLankan Airlines Colombo, Guangzhou, Hong Kong (ends 14 July 2017)[45]
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich
Thai Airways Auckland, Bangalore, Beijing–Capital, Brisbane, Brussels, Busan, Chengdu, Chennai, Chiang Mai, 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, Koh Samui, Kolkata, Krabi, Kunming, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kunming, Lahore, London–Heathrow, Manila, Melbourne, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Domodedovo, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nagoya–Centrair, Osaka–Kansai, Oslo–Gardermoen, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Perth, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Rome–Fiumicino, Sapporo–Chitose, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Stockholm–Arlanda, Sydney, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tehran–Imam Khomeini, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Vientiane, Xiamen, Yangon, Zürich
Seasonal Charter: Aomori, Iwate, Komatsu, Sendai
Thai Smile Changsha, Chiang Rai, Chittagong , Chongqing, Delhi (resumes 1 May 2017),[46] Hat Yai, Jaipur, Khon Kaen, Kota Kinabalu, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur–International (resumes 25 May 2017),[47] Luang Prabang (resumes 1 October 2017),[48] Lucknow, Mandalay, Mumbai (begins 15 June 2017),[46] Narathiwat, Penang, Phnom Penh , Phuket, Siem Reap, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Vientiane, Yangon, Zhengzhou
Seasonal: Gaya, Varanasi
Thai Vietjet Air Chiang Mai, Hai Phong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket
Seasonal: Gaya
Charter: Can Tho, Hualien (begins 24 June 2017),[49] Hue
Tigerair Singapore
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat
T'way Airlines Seoul–Incheon
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev–Boryspil
Ural Airlines Beijing–Capital, Changchun, Harbin, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk (begins 17 May 2017),[50] Ordos (begins 17 May 2017),[50] Yekaterinburg
Seasonal: Vladivostok
US-Bangla Airlines Chittagong, Dhaka (all begins 3 May 2017)[51]
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent
VietJet Air Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam Airlines Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
XiamenAir Dalian, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen


Airlines Destinations
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[52]
EVA Air Cargo[53] Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta, Penang, Singapore, Taipei–Taoyuan
FedEx Express Guangzhou, Penang
K-Mile Air Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta
Korean Air Cargo Seoul–Incheon, Singapore, Chennai
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Mumbai, Sharjah
MASKargo Kuala Lumpur–International
Nippon Cargo Airlines Singapore, Tokyo–Narita
Singapore Airlines Cargo Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore
Turkish Airlines Cargo[54] Almaty, Delhi, Istanbul–Atatürk, Tashkent, Lahore, Islamabad
UPS Airlines Cologne/Bonn, Mumbai
Yanda Airlines Coimbatore, Delhi, Pune, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Tokyo–Narita
Yangtze River Express Shanghai–Pudong

Traffic and statistics[edit]

Air France Airbus A340-313X takeoff from Suvarnabhumi Airport with an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER and a KLM Boeing 747-400 in the background.
EI-ETJ, a Kogalymavia Airbus A321 take off at Suvarnabhumi Airport, August 2014. This aircraft would be destroyed later in October 2015.
A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER on approach to Suvarnabhumi Airport in 2012.
Thai Airways International Boeing 747-400 with Star Alliance livery at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Thai Smile Airbus A320 parking at Gate A3, Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Busiest international routes[edit]

Busiest international routes to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport (2015)[55]
Rank Airport Passengers handled 2015  % Change
1 Hong Kong Hong Kong 4,093,932 Increase35.5
2 Singapore Singapore 2,867,911 Increase9.8
3 South Korea Seoul–Incheon 2,097,635 Increase10
4 United Arab Emirates Dubai–International 1,622,093 Increase16.8
5 China Shanghai–Pudong 1,410,767 Increase46.6
6 Taiwan Taipei–Taoyuan 1,203,211 Increase8.1
7 Japan Tokyo–Narita 1,147,888 Decrease11.0
8 Japan Tokyo–Haneda 1,029,658 Increase26
9 Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City 1,010,569 Increase43.5
10 China Guangzhou 934,901 Increase24.3
11 Qatar Doha 916,862 Increase38.4
12 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur–International 864,057 Decrease2.7
13 Vietnam Hanoi 848,422 Increase8.6
14 China Beijing–Capital 830,125 Increase17.5
15 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 795,486 Increase32
16 Myanmar Yangon 776,229 Increase21
17 Philippines Manila 730,140 Increase18
18 India Delhi 712,845 Increase16.8
19 India Mumbai 699,752 Increase21.6
20 United Kingdom London–Heathrow 664,599 Increase7.2
21 Australia Sydney 569,101 Increase6.7
22 Germany Frankfurt 560,369 Increase13.5
23 India Kolkata 557,607 Increase30
24 Japan Osaka–Kansai 554,028 Increase25
25 Cambodia Phnom Penh 549,214 Increase14
26 France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 501,744 Increase15.6
27 Netherlands Amsterdam 439,191 Increase27.8
28 Australia Melbourne 418,007 Increase9.7
29 South Korea Busan 414,359 Increase8.8
30 Indonesia Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta 396,186 Increase17
31 Japan Nagoya–Centrair 377,133 Increase17
32 China Shenzhen 363,350 Increase20
33 Sri Lanka Colombo 353,418 Increase26
34 Russia Moscow 325,522 Increase10
35 Macau Macau 320,808 Increase10
36 Turkey Istanbul–Atatürk 310,190 Increase22
37 Switzerland Zürich 306,334 Increase22
38 Oman Muscat 304,472 Increase27
39 China Chengdu 298,327 Increase8
40 Bangladesh Dhaka 287,239 Increase5
41 China Kunming 284,863 Increase17.4
42 Sweden Stockholm–Arlanda 282,030 Increase15
43 Denmark Copenhagen 261,471 Decrease0.4
44 China Changsha 254,258 Decrease4.2
45 Japan Fukuoka 250,002 Increase5.4
46 Finland Helsinki 243,998 Increase7.5
47 Austria Vienna 235,419 Increase9.6
48 Norway Oslo–Gardermoen 230,551 Increase18
49 China Xiamen 224,910 Increase6
50 China Hangzhou 221,023 Increase4

Busiest domestic routes[edit]

Busiest domestic routes to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport (2015)
Rank Airport Passengers handled 2014  % Change
Passengers Handled 2015
1 Phuket 2,359,875 Increase6.6 2,516,192
2 Chiang Mai 1,648,208 Increase4.7 1,726,487
3 Ko Samui 1,452,926 Increase4.5 1,517,985
4 Krabi 608,428 Increase2.3 622,129
5 Hat Yai 409,112 Increase17.0 478,613
6 Chiang Rai 406,629 Increase13.3 460,570
7 Udon Thani 420,974 Increase2.4 430,918
8 Khon Kaen 416,706 Decrease33.6 276,571
9 Ubon Ratchathani 163,275 Increase33.3 214,429
10 Surat Thani 148,428 Decrease1.2 146,719

Traffic by calendar year[edit]

Suvarnabhumi accounted for the largest share of air traffic at Thailand's airports in 2015, handling 52.9 million passengers, up by nearly 14 percent from the previous year despite its passenger capacity of only 45 million a year. International passengers passing through Suvarnabhumi grew 15.9 percent to 44.2 million, while domestic volume edged up 4.87 percent to 8.68 million. Aircraft movements showed a 9.50 percent increase to 317,066, consisting of 247,584 international (up 11 percent) and 69,482 domestic (up 4.41 percent).[56]

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
2015 52,902,110 Increase013.96% 317,066 1,230,563
2016 55,892,428 Increase05.65% 336,345 1,351,878
Source: Airports Council International[57]
In 2012, the government enjoined all low-cost airlines to move their hubs to DMK in October.
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Totals (millions)

Ground transportation[edit]

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,[58] 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 Motorway 7 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 hours of service are 06.00 to 24.00.[59] 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). 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.

Regional train[edit]

Meanwhile, SRT provides a suburban commuter train service between Lad Krabang (the nearest station to Suvarnabhumi on the East line, one station from the airport by Airport Rail Link) 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. Three air-conditioned city bus routes are operated by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) serve the airport's dedicated bus terminal


The airport has five main access routes. Among these the most convenient route is via the Bangkok Chon Buri Motorway (Motorway 7). Another main airport entrance is in Samut Prakan Province via the expressway from Bang Na to Bang Pakong.

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

Sky Lane[edit]

Sky Lane at Suvarnabhumi Airport

In December 2015, the airport opened Sky Lane (Thai: สกายเลน), a bicycle lane around its perimeter. The cyclists can bring their bicycles and bike here for free. The entrance to Sky Lane is in the northeastern corner of the airport area. The Sky Lane is one direction track made only for bicycles without any intersection or traffic light, so the cyclist can be ensure that users will not get bothered by any vehicle. The Sky Lane takes 23.5 km of distance, making it the longest in Asia,[60] with restrooms and light posts along the pathway. The entrance gate is open from 06:00 to 19:00.


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External links[edit]

Media related to Suvarnabhumi International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
Suvarnabhumi Airport travel guide from Wikivoyage