AoT shelves phase 2 of airport plan
The board of Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) has reaffirmed its decision to put on hold the second-phase development of Suvarnabhumi airport and instead push ahead with the construction of a new passenger terminal.
AoT board chairman Prasong Phunthanet said the board has informally told Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong and transport permanent secretary Soithip Traisuth of the decision to delay the phase II development.
He said details of the investment for the new terminal are expected to be completed and submitted to the board for consideration next month.
Once ready, the investment plan, which is estimated at 24 billion baht, will be forwarded to the cabinet for approval.
According to Mr Prasong, the National Council for Peace and Order's state budget monitoring and scrutinising committee, which is reviewing the second-phase development, has suggested AoT consider other options.
The second-phase development plan is estimated to cost around 62.5 billion baht.
The construction of the new terminal, which will be located north of Concourse A, is expected to begin in 2015.
When completed, Suvarnabhumi will be able to handle 60 million passengers a year.
The airport currently has the capacity to cope with 45 million passengers a year.
"The cost of building a new terminal is far lower than the cost for the second-phase development of the airport," he said.
According to Mr Prasong, the board has also agreed to use the new terminal as a pilot project for the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative.
Mr Prasong said the board will consider at its next meeting a proposal to build a third reserve runway.
The board is considering two length options for the third runway: 2,900 and 4,000 metres.
He said the board had also agreed to renew a check-in system contract worth 2.3 billion baht with Samart Plc affiliate ComTech for another five years from Oct 1, 2014 to Sept 30, 2019.
He said authorities concerned have been instructed to negotiate with the company to ensure a good price.
Meanwhile, the AoT board yesterday appointed five airport directors to succeed those who will retire at the end of the month.
They are Prapon Pattamakijsakul as director of Suvarnabhumi airport; Monruedee Ketphan as Phuket airport director; Wisut Chantana as Chiang Mai airport director; Jetsada Phetmetyai as Hat Yai airport director; and Itthipol Boonaree as Mae Fah Luang airport director.
The board also approved the appointment of three new vice-presidents: Kannapat Mangkhlasiri in charge of airport and aviation standards; Prawit Chaisuwan in charge of engineering and construction; and Wichai Boonyoo in charge of business development and marketing.
Mr Prasong said the selection of a new AoT president should be completed within three months.