Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport
(Sanskrit: Suvarṇa – Gold, Bhūmi – Land)
Suvarnabhumi Airport Logo.svg
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand 2.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Airports of Thailand
Serves Bangkok
Location Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, Thailand
Hub for Bangkok Airways
Orient Thai Airlines
Thai AirAsia
Thai Airways International
Elevation AMSL 5 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 13°40′52″N 100°44′50″E / 13.68111°N 100.74722°E / 13.68111; 100.74722Coordinates: 13°40′52″N 100°44′50″E / 13.68111°N 100.74722°E / 13.68111; 100.74722
BKK is located in Bangkok
Location in Samut Prakan Province of Greater Bangkok
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01R/19L 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
01L/19R 3,700 12,139 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Passengers 42,784,967
Source: ACI[1]

Suvarnabhumi Airport (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ, pronounced [sù.wān.nā.pʰūːm]) (IATA: BKKICAO: VTBS) (meaning 'Golden Land' in Sanskrit), also known as (New) Bangkok International Airport, is an international airport serving Bangkok, Thailand. It 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.[2] The airport is currently the main hub for Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai Airlines, and Thai AirAsia. It also serves as regional gateway and connecting point for various foreign carriers.

The airport is located in Racha Thewa in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan Province, 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.

Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Architects and constructed primarily by ITO JV, the airport has the world's tallest free-standing control tower (132.2 metres / 434 feet), and the world's 4th largest single-building airport terminal (563,000 square metres / 6,060,000 square feet). Suvarnabhumi is the 3rd busiest airport in Asia, and the busiest in the country, having handled 42.7 million passengers in 2010, and is also a major air cargo hub. 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
The churn of the milk ocean sculpture inside the departure hall

Land purchase, early construction

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.[3]

The 8,000-acre (32 km2) 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.[4] 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 5 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.


Fifty percent of the airport's construction cost was covered by Airports of Thailand, while the another 50% was from a friendly agreement of AOT and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Airport-related procurement followed JBIC's stringent guidelines for transparency and openness. Despite populism regarding the airport as being built for passengers, Thai and foreigner exporting companies in the area for a long time wanted a round the clock airport built along with a modern motorway between factories, Bangkok, and the port of Laem Chabang.

Early construction, airport tests, and official opening

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 problem was the belief that the airport was haunted by spirits, and sightings of ghosts by superstitious construction workers, so that on 23 September 2005, the Thai airports authority held a ceremony with 99 Buddhist monks chanting prayers to calm these spirits.[5]

Symbolic first test flights involving two Thai Airways aircraft were held on 29 September 2005, a previously announced deadline for opening.

Full tests of the airport, with seats sold to the public, 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 20 domestic flights.[6][7] 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.

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.[8] 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.[9] Aerosvit also had the first passenger departure (VV172 to Kiev) around 05:30.[10]

Initial difficulties

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.[11][12] 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).[13]

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.[14] 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.[15][16] 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.[17]

Capacity and safety issues

Problems with the tarmac

The Engineering Institute of Thailand conducted investigations at the airport in late 2006 after signs of distress were spotted at several locations in Suvarnabhumi's taxiways and taxilanes. Rutting was found in five of the six taxilanes and one of the six taxiways. Plastic deformation of the asphalt wearing course was observed near the takeoff position of the runway. However, the investigators noted that plastic deformation at this location was a common phenomenon and only routine maintenance was required to repair the distress. Aside from this surface distortion, both runways were in good structural condition.

Further investigations found that that taxilane and taxiway rutting was caused by separation of the asphalt binder from the aggregate surface due to prolonged water infiltration into the asphalt concrete base course, a phenomenon known as "stripping." The 23-centimetre (9.1 in) thick base course is the top-most layer of the tarmac. Core samples indicated that the concrete base course material contained the correct job mix and aggregate gradation. Below the base course are the binder course, the wearing course, and the cement-treated base.

Detailed investigations found that water seepage was evident along the rims of the expansion joints in the cement-tested base, indicating that a large quantity of water was still trapped in the sand blanket (the bottom-most layer of the tarmac). It was found that water trapped in the sand blanket was fully confined with no connection to the pavement areas of the airport. A later investigation by the AoT identified several potential reasons for the trapped water in the sand blanket. The AoT's findings were disputed by several experts.

The Engineering Institute of Thailand sent a formal warning to the AoT in November 2006 about the urgent need to drain water from beneath the tarmac, and the need for immediate action. "The AOT did nothing about the problem," Suebsak Promboon of the EIT later noted. "The situation might not have become this bad if the water had been drained then."

In January 2007, ruts were discovered in the runways at Suvarnabhumi.[18] The east runway was scheduled to close for repairs. Expert opinions have varied widely as to the root cause of the ruts.[15] 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.[19]

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.[20]


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. It has a total of 120 parking bays (51 with contact gates and 69 remote gates) and 8 parking bays (5 contact gates and 3 remote gates) of these are capable of accommodating the Airbus A380 aircraft. With a capacity of handling 76 flight operations per hour, both international and domestic flights will share the airport terminal but will be assigned 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. Between the airport hotel and the terminal building are the two 5-storey car park buildings with a combined capacity of 5,000 cars.

Plans to re-open Don Mueang for domestic

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, 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, and they remain at Suvarnabhumi for this reason. Nok Air and PBair were undecided, but Nok Air later relocated all their flights to Don Muang, where they operate today.[21][22] 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.

Thai Airbus A340 (HS-TLA) at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Repair and upgrades

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. 20 of the 60 problems were successfully fixed by February 2007.[23]

Accidents and incidents

  • On 3 February 2010, Flight 116, a Thai Airways Boeing 747–400, experienced an oil filter message, high vibration, and fire warning from the No. 1 engine, a General Electric CF6-80CB1F turbofan engine, shortly after takeoff. The flight crew shut down the No. 1 engine, discharged both fire extinguishing bottles, and started a return back to the airport. A successful three-engine landing was performed with no reported injuries.[24]


Structural Design

Suvarnabhumi Airport 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 principal was to express the former essence of the site, from which the 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. These mega-trusses are composed of three smaller trusses joined via pin connections: the middle truss acting similarly to a drop-in beam flanked by two cantilevered trusses. The outer and inner trusses address compression inversely to one another. Whereas the top of the middle truss is formed by two cords to account for the compression of the roof structure, the bottom of the cantilevered trusses is formed by two chords, sense the concentration of compression reverses when the outer-trusses are cantilevered.[25]

The integration of structural form into overall aesthetic is a phenomenon personally describes by Helmut Jahn as “Archi-Neering”. These integrations include works on the advanced long span lightweight steel trusses coupled with exposed pre-cast concrete structures, low e-coated glass facade system, three layer translucent membrane, integrated cooling, using water as a low energy carrier and the thermal mass of concrete and a displacement ventilation system with minimal air-changes.

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 enegy 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.[26]

Structural Facade

Suvarnabhumi Airport main terminal characteristic green building envelop utilizes a minimalist structural form of point fix facade called cable truss system. The structure relied on pre-tensioned highly compacted dia.14mm stainless steel cable supported by compression spreader strut elements between two vertical trusses to provide stability. Dead loads are supported by dia.16mm high tensile stainless rod that were engineered right inside the main body of the point fix clamp making the DL rods to appear hidden between the glass silicon.

Flood Protection

Suvarnabhumi Airport has taken numerous measures to protect it from flooding. The airport area is surrouded by a 3 metre high, 23.5 km long earth dyke. Within the area protected by the dyke there are numerous canals, including one running along the inside of the dyke, which drain into 6 reservoirs. The reservoirs hold up to 4 million cubic metes of water. At the southern boundary of the airport there are two water pumping stations, each has 4 pumps that pump 12 cubic metres (12,000 litres) of water per second ( or 1 million cubic metres per day). The pumped water is discharged into 2 canals, Khlong Lat Krabang and Khlong Bang Chalong, which flow south to the Gulf of Thailand.[27]


On 25 January 2007, due to work to the upgrading the taxiways, which was suffered by a small crack, few incoming flights were delayed and several flights were safety diverted to a nearby operating U-Tapao International Airport in Rayong province.[28]

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, 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.People's Alliance for Democracy Seizure Control tower On 12.00 am[29] 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 recertification once the illegal occupation ended delayed the airport from being fully functional until 5 December 2008.[30]


In 2009, Ireland warned its citizens to be on guard while browsing in the airport's shops. "We have received reports that innocent shoppers have been the subject of allegations of suspected theft and threatened that their cases will not be heard for several months unless they plead guilty and pay substantial fines," the Irish government wrote in a travel advisory, which also advised shoppers to retain all receipts to "avoid great distress."

Britain and Denmark also posted online advisories about hard-to-detect demarcation lines between shops in Suvarnabhumi's sprawling duty-free zone and warned shoppers to be alert about carrying unpaid merchandise across the lines.[31]


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.[32] Evicting them has proved difficult as they allegedly are well connected (the head of the Pirap gang is supposedly related to an AoT 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 an internal dispute within the Parking Management Co., the firm contracted to run the parking facilities.[35]


Airport layout
Phase two of the airport

Costing an estimated ฿155 billion (US$3.8 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.[36] 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. Between the airport hotel and the terminal building are the two 5-storey car parks with a combined capacity of 5,000 cars.

Long-term plans include four runways flanking two main terminals, two satellite buildings and a low-cost terminal will have a combined capacity capable of handling more than 150 million passengers and 6.4 million tonnes of cargo a year were settled clearly on the drawing board. The second phase of airport expansion which involving the construction of a satellite building south of the main terminal is expected to begin construction in 3 to 5 years.

Airports of Thailand PLC (AOT), the owner and operator of Suvarnabhumi Airport, announced on 21 July 2006 that a separate terminal for Low-cost carriers (LCC) will be built at the airport at a cost of 600 million baht (15.8 million US dollars). The budget terminal will be located near Concourse A of the main terminal. It is capable of handling more than 20 million passengers per year.[37] Its operating concept will be modeled after the LCC terminals of Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport. However, Don Mueang has also been reopened and is being used by some low-cost domestic airlines, there are concerns whether the LCC terminal at Suvarnabhumi will be needed due to this and overcrowding concerns.

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 / 6,100,000 square feet), Beijing Capital International Airport (986,000 square metres / 10,610,000 square feet), with the largest passenger terminal being at Dubai International Airport (Terminal 3 is over 1,500,000 square metres / 16,000,000 square feet). The airport's air-traffic control tower is still remaining as the tallest in the world's history at 132.2 metres (434 ft).

Suvarnabhumi Airport has 51 air bridges and 69 non air bridges. Additionally, flights are also able to park at remote locations on the ramp, from where airport buses transport passengers to and from the terminal.Suvarnabhumi Airport has 5 air bridges and 3 non air bridges for Airbus 380–800

Airlines and destinations

Scheduled services

Airlines Destinations
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo
Aerosvit Airlines Kiev-Boryspil
Air Astana Almaty
Air Austral Seasonal: Saint-Denis de la Réunion
Air Berlin Berlin-Tegel, Düsseldorf
Seasonal: Munich
Air China Beijing-Capital
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Phnom Penh [ends 25 March 2012]
Air India Delhi, Mumbai
Air India Express Kolkata
Air Koryo Pyongyang
Air Macau Macau
Air Madagascar Antananarivo, Guangzhou
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur
All Nippon Airways Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita
Asiana Airlines Seoul-Incheon
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Bangkok Airways Bangalore, Chiang Mai, Dhaka, Guilin, Ko Samui, Lampang, Luang Prabang, Malé, Mumbai, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Siem Reap, Sukhothai, Trat, Yangon
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka, Chittagong
British Airways London-Heathrow, Sydney [ends 25 March 2012]
Business Air Daegu, Seoul-Incheon
Cathay Pacific Colombo, Delhi, Hong Kong, Karachi, Mumbai, Singapore
Cebu Pacific Clark, Manila
China Airlines Amsterdam, Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan
China Eastern Airlines Jinghong/Xishuangbanna, Kunming, Shanghai-Pudong
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou, Shantou, Zhengzhou
Delta Air Lines Tokyo-Narita
Druk Air Bagdogra, Dhaka, Paro, Guwahati
Eastar Jet Seoul-Incheon
EgyptAir Cairo, Kuala Lumpur
El Al Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Emirates Christchurch, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Guangzhou, Hong Kong
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
EVA Air Amsterdam, London-Heathrow, Taipei-Taoyuan, Vienna
Finnair Helsinki
Garuda Indonesia Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta
GMG Airlines Dhaka, Chittagong
Gulf Air Bahrain
Hainan Airlines Haikou, Hangzhou, Nanning
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong
I-Fly Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Moscow-Vnukovo
IndiGo Delhi, Mumbai
Indonesia AirAsia Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Medan, Surabaya
Japan Airlines Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita
Jeju Air Busan, Seoul-Incheon
Jetairfly Brussels
Jet Airways Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai
Jetstar Airways Melbourne
Jetstar Asia Airways Singapore
Jin Air Seoul-Incheon
Kenya Airways Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Nairobi
Kingfisher Airlines Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai
KLM Amsterdam, Taipei-Taoyuan
Korean Air Busan, Cheongju, Daegu [begins 1 December], Seoul-Incheon
Kuwait Airways Kuwait, Manila
Lao Airlines Luang Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet, Vientiane
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur
Mahan Air Mashhad, Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur
Myanmar Airways International Yangon, Singapore
Nepal Airlines Kathmandu
Nordwind Airlines Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kemerovo, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Khabarovsk, Yakutsk
Oman Air Muscat
Orient Thai Airlines Hong Kong, Seoul-Incheon
Pakistan International Airlines Hong Kong, Islamabad
Philippine Airlines Delhi, Manila
Qantas London-Heathrow, Sydney
Qatar Airways Doha, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur
S7 Airlines Seasonal: Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk
SAS Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen
Shanghai Airlines Chongqing, Shanghai-Pudong
Singapore Airlines Singapore
South East Asian Airlines Clark
SriLankan Airlines Beijing-Capital, Colombo, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai-Pudong
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich
Thai AirAsia Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Colombo [begins 27 December], Delhi, Denpasar/Bali, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Hat Yai, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Kolkata, Macau, Narathiwat, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Shenzhen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Singapore, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Yangon
Thai Airways International Auckland, Bangalore, Beijing-Capital, Busan, Brisbane, Brussels, Chengdu, Chennai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Colombo, Copenhagen, Delhi, Denpasar/Bali, Dhaka, Dubai, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hat Yai, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kathmandu, Khon Kaen, Ko Samui, Kolkata, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manila, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Oslo-Gardermoen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Penang, Perth, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Rome-Fiumicino, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Stockholm-Arlanda, Sydney, Surat Thani, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Vientiane, Xiamen, Yangon, Zürich
Seasonal: Gaya, Varanasi
Thai Regional Airlines Nakhonratchasima , Surin
Tiger Airways Singapore
Transaero Moscow-Domodedovo, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg
Seasonal: Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk, Vladivostok
Turkish Airlines Ho Chi Minh City, Istanbul-Atatürk
Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat
T'way Airlines Seoul-Incheon
United Airlines Tokyo-Narita
United Airways Dhaka
Ural Airlines Yekaterinburg
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Vladivostok Air Khabarovsk, Seoul-Incheon, Vladivostok
Cities with a direct international airlink to Suvarnabhumi Airport

Charter services

Airlines Destinations
Air Poland Warsaw
Enter Air Warsaw
Finnair Helsinki
FlyLAL Charters Vilnius
Nordwind Airlines Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Chelyabinsk
SmartLynx Airlines Riga
Sunny Airways Frankfurt[38]
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia
Travel Service Prague, Budapest
TUIfly Nordic

Cargo services

Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air Hong Kong Hong Kong, Penang
ANA Cargo Okinawa, Osaka-Kansai [begins 31 October], Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita [begins 31 October], Singapore
Aryan Cargo Express Hong Kong, Seoul-Incheon
Asiana Cargo Seoul-Incheon
Cardig Air Hong Kong, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Singapore
Cargolux Shanghai-Pudong Xiamen , Baku ,Luxembourg
Cathay Pacific Cargo Hong Kong
China Airlines Cargo Taipei-Taoyuan , Luxembourg, Abu Dhabi
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai
EVA Air Cargo Taipei-Taoyuan
FedEx Express Guangzhou
Jett8 Airlines Cargo Singapore
K-Mile Air Ho Chi Minh city, Singapore
KLM Cargo Amsterdam, Taipei-Taoyuan
Korean Air Cargo Seoul-Incheon,Singapore
Kuzu Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Ataturk
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt ,Sharjah,Mumbai
MASKargo Kuala Lumpur
Martinair Cargo Amsterdam,Singapore
Nippon Cargo Airlines Singapore,Tokyo-Narita
Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo Guangzhou, Jeddah, Riyadh, Shanghai-Pudong
Shanghai Airlines Cargo Singapore,Shanghai-Pudong
Singapore Airlines Cargo Chennai, Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo-Narita[39]
Thai Airways Cargo operated by Southern Air Amsterdam,[40] Chennai, Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong
Tri-MG Intra Asia Airlines Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh
UPS Airlines
Yanda Airlines Coimbatore, Tokyo-Narita, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Pune, Delhi
Yangtze River Express Shanghai-Pudong

Ground transportation

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

Airport Rail Link

The 30-billion baht Suvarnabhumi Airport Link was opened on 23 August 2010,[41] 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.[42] At the end of 2010, Makkasan station will also serve 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, if the old Don Mueang International Airport is reopened for civil aviation under a dual-aiprort policy.

The Airport Rail Link operates daily from 6 am to 12 midnight. A single-trip journey costs between 15 and 45 Baht or 150 Baht on the City Line and Express Line service, respectively. Journeys on an Express Line train (non-stop to Makksan) and the City Line train (six stops to Phaya Thai) takes 15 and 27 minutes, respectively. Suvarnabhumi station is located right under the main terminal building (B1 Level, two floors below the Arrival Hall). As the connection walkway linking Makkasan and Phetchaburi MRT stations is currently under construction, passengers changing to other mass transit lines are advised to take a City Line train to Phaya Thai and change to the BTS Skytrain from there.

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) from 8 am to 9 pm, daily. Passengers must check in their baggage at least 3 hours prior to the flight departure, or up to 12 hours in advance, and are required to purchase an Express Line ticket to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Regional train

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. Passengers pay a flat fare of Bt30. A shuttle bus service linking the airport with Hua Takhe railway station is provided by BMTA for Bt15. 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.

City bus

The airport express bus stopped running as of June 2011.

12 air-conditioned city bus routes are operated by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) serve the airport's dedicated bus terminal. City buses offer a cheaper alternative of Bt35 flat fare, compared with the airport express bus. However, passengers must take a shuttle bus to the public transportation center's bus terminal before they can board the regular city buses. The 12 routes available are as follows:

Service Destination Notes
City Bus
549 Suvarnabhumi Minburi-Bangkapi via Seri Thai Rd.
550 Suvarnabhumi Lat Phrao MRT Station Ratchada-Lat Phrao Intersection
551 Suvarnabhumi Victory Monument via Rama IX Rd.
552 Suvarnabhumi Hua Lumphong (Bangkok Central Railway Station) via On Nut BTS station
552A Suvarnabhumi Samut Prakarn (Phraeksa BMTA Depot)
553 Suvarnabhumi Samut Prakarn (Crocodile Farm BMTA Depot)
554 Suvarnabhumi Rangsit via Don Mueang and Ram Indra Rd. by expressway
555 Suvarnabhumi Rangsit via Don Mueang and Central Plaza Lad Phrao by expressway
556 Suvarnabhumi Southern Bus Terminal via Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd. and Democracy Monument by expressway
557 Suvarnabhumi Wongwian Yai Out of Service
558 Suvarnabhumi Thonburi Housing Community – Central Plaza Rama II
559 Suvarnabhumi Future Park Rangsit via Dream World by expressway
Service Destination Notes
Long-distance services
Transport Company Bus Pattaya
Transport Company Bus Nong Khai
Counter of the AOT Limousine Service


The airport has 5 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 5 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.


Additionally, flat-fare limousines are available at the Arrivals Level (2nd floor). Limousine services are provided by AOT and by a number of other licensed Limousine companies [2].

BUS (Bor Khor Sor)[43]

Bus Line 389 go to Pattaya Bus Line 9905 go to Jomtien Beach BUS Line 9906 – 1 go to U-Tapao International Airport get off at U-Tapao Station Bus Line 9907 go to Chanthaburi BUS Line 9909 go to Si Racha

Public taxi

Metered taxis are available on the ground level of the airport, one level down from the arrivals hall.

Departure tax

Since 1 February 2007 the 700 Baht departure tax is included in the price of flight tickets. Before that date, departing passengers had to pay the tax to officials or vending machines before they entered the immigration queues. The departure tax at Don Muang International Airport was 500 Baht per person.

See also


  1. ^ Passenger Traffic 2010 FINAL
  2. ^ USA Today, "Bangkok's new airport opens to first commercial flights", 15 September 2006.
  3. ^ "New airport to be ready on time" [1], Bangkok Post, 5 November 1968.
  4. ^ Handley, Paul M. (2006). The King Never Smiles. Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10682-3.
  5. ^ Richard Lloyd Parry, "Poo Ming – a blue ghost who haunts $4bn airport", The Times, 27 September 2006
  6. ^ ThaiDay, "THAI discounts tickets for historic test flights", 1 July 2006.
  7. ^ "PM Thaksin says Suvarnabhumi Airport ready in two months", MCOT, 29 July 2006.
  8. ^ Pennapa Hongthong, Just listen to our noisy nightmare, The Nation, 28 September 2006
  9. ^ Petchanet Pratruangkrai, Suchat Sritama, Exporters pan new export fees, The Nation, 27 September 2006
  10. ^ Kurt Hofmann, LH Cargo set to be first into Suvarnabhumi, ATW, 28 September 2006
  11. ^ Suchat Sritma, Touch down...into chaos, 29 September 2006
  12. ^ e-Travel Blackboard, Baggage ruffles up some feathers, but Suvarnabhumi still a success, 29 September 2006
  13. ^ The Nation, Airport shippers hit by computer failure, 2 October 2006
  14. ^ Some flight services will likely return the Don Muang Airport, The Nation, 29 January 2007.
  15. ^ a b The Nation, Engineers unable to agree on root cause of airport cracks, 10 February 2007
  16. ^ The Nation, THAI baulks at moving to Don Muang, 15 February 2007
  17. ^ Thailand backtracks on plan for second international airport, Channel NewsAsia, 16 February 2007
  18. ^ A Rough Takeoff for Bangkok's New Airport, TIME, 25 January 2007
  19. ^ New airport's east runway to close for repairs, return to Don Muang mooted, Thai News Agency, MCOT, 27 January 2007.
  20. ^ "Bangkok airport officially unsafe", CNN, 27 January 2007
  21. ^ Use Don Muang during repairs: 2 airlines, The Nation, 27 January 2007.
  22. ^ Move to use 2 airports gets mixed reception, The Nation, 31 January 2007.
  23. ^ Bangkok Post, B1bn needed to fix terminal problems over four to five years, 16 February 2007
  24. ^
  25. ^ University of Cincinnati, SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT, September 2008
  26. ^ E-Architect, Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok, 15 August 2008
  27. ^ Bangkok Post, Suvarnabhumi safe, banks to help flood victims, 11 October 2011
  28. ^ Some airlines afraid to use new airport, The Nation, 26 January 2007.
  29. ^ Thai protesters shut down airport
  30. ^ Thai protesters agree to vacate the airport
  31. ^ MSNBC: Alleged scam targets tourists in Bangkok 7 August 2009
  32. ^ Bangkok Post: Crackdown fails to stop airport gangs 6 September 2009
  33. ^ Ibid.
  34. ^ Bangkok Post: AoT orders firm to end dispute after car park seizure 2 October 2010
  35. ^ Ibid.
  36. ^ Bangkok Post, New Bangkok Airport – Now Aiming For July 2006 Opening, 2005
  37. ^ AoT to spend Bt800 billion to upgrade Suvarnabhumi Airport
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ AMS reference
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Work starts on link to Bangkok's new airport". David Briginshaw, International Railway Journal, April 2005.
  43. ^

External links