More info on new airport.

Sep 29th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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More info on new airport.

Just read this, thought I'd pass it on.

As of September 28, 2006, Suvarnabhumi Airport will replace Don Muang airport as Bangkok's primary airport for all commercial airline flights. The official opening gives new impetus to the country’s quest to make Bangkok and Thailand the aviation hub of the region with the capability to serve 45 million passengers per year.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is approximately 25 kilometers east of Bangkok and operated by The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT). At 563,000 square meters, the passenger terminal is currently the largest in the world. Its world's longest runway, 75.3 meters by 4,000 meters long and world’s tallest control tower, 132.2 meters high will enable the airport to manage approximately 76 flights per hour.

There are 7 concourse buildings. Concourse buildings A and B are for domestic passengers and concourse buildings C, D, E, F and G are for international passengers. Passengers can walk to the concourse buildings from the terminal complex via concourse building D with 2 intersections on 3rd and 4th floors.

The passenger terminal complex comprises 7 floors above ground level and 2 floors below ground level:

1st floor: Bus Lobby
2nd floor: Arrivals Hall
3rd floor: Passenger Lounges, Security Checkpoints, Meeting points, Shops, Service
Counters and CIP Lounges
4th floor: Departures Hall, Thai Airways Premium Passenger Lounge, Customs Control
Checkpoints, Governmental Offices, Airline Booths, Airport Information Counters
5th floor: Thai Airways and Star Alliance Airlines Offices
6th floor: Restaurants
7th floor: Observation area

The lower ground floors are served as the train station and platforms when the airport city rail link opens for operation in December 2007.

A larger number of facilities have been provided to offer more efficient services to passengers such as 130 arrivals and 72 departures passport control checkpoints, 26 arrivals and 8 departures customs control checkpoints, 22 baggage conveyor belts, 60 check-in counters, 100 check-in counters for passengers with no luggage, 107 moving walkways, 102 elevators, 83 escalators, and 18 slanted moving sideways.

Transportation services include airport shuttle buses, taxis, limousines, car rental service, airport express service (between the airport, hotels and various important places in Bangkok and the suburbs) and airport city rail link (a 28 kilometers overhead city rail link between downtown Bangkok and the airport).

Suvarnabhumi Airport opened its runways to commercial domestic test flights on July 29, 2006. The six participating airlines — Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai Air Asia, One-Two-Go Airlines, Nok Air and PB Air — successfully operated a total of 21 flights in and out of the new facility. Thai Airways has started 3 domestic routes since 15 September 2006, with flights to/from Phitsanulok, Ubon Ratchathani and Chiang Mai and 4 international routes since September 22, 2006, with flights to/from Seoul, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Wondering already what the name Suvarnabhumi actually means? It means “The Golden Land” and that is what we Thais have always called Southeast Asia – a region of golden promises and golden memories for you, with Thailand a welcoming and glittering gateway.

123Go is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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rhkkmk is online now  
Sep 30th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Landed at the new airport on Saturday morning (30 September)from HK. Everything went smoothly. The new facities are superb. Picked up a licensed limo at the exit of the arrivals hall. Cost to Hyatt Erawan/Sukhumvit area was 800 Baht one way. Trip took 30 minutes. New airport seems closer to town than Don Maung no matter what others say. AOT limos have a desk just as you exit the controlled area into the hall. There are no others occupying a formal hire desk. They are charging 1200 baht one way for the same trip. Seems that the various limo services are using the new airport's location as a excuse to up the charges without real justification.
rbm is offline  
Sep 30th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for your report. Which limo service did you use?
Kathie is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 08:23 AM
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Another viewpoint taken from an article in the National.

Suvarnabhumi: A traveller's lament

"As flight TG 401 touched down at the futuristic-looking Suvarnabhumi Airport on Friday night, the inefficiency of this new Bt150-billion facility took me and other passengers by surprise.

The impressive view from the outside, of architectural structures bathed in blue light, gave way to appalling design flaws and apparent mismanagement by officials.

"It's a new airport, so why did we have to board a bus [after deplaning]?" asked a fellow THAI traveller from Singapore.

Less than two minutes later we were stuck in a bottleneck at the only escalator from the ground floor up to the first floor. We wondered why more planning wasn't put into such a crucial matter.

Then after a considerable hike past a few duty-free shops, I arrived at the hi-tech immigration desk. It was speedy and convenient. But as I got through the counter and proceeded to find out where to reclaim my luggage, my eyes were dazzled by four flashing TV monitors with letters so tiny that anyone over 40 or with reading difficulties would have a hard time deciphering the messages.

After a few minutes of eye-straining search, I discovered that I had to go to carousel 18. But wait! When I got there, the overhead display said the luggage coming through belonged to flights from Siem Reap and Seoul, not Singapore!

There weren't enough luggage carts and it took me 10 minutes to get one.

So which computerised monitors should I trust?

I hung around with other passengers whom I recognised from our flight until one Westerner finally got his luggage. "Amazing," he said to me, as I asked if he was on that THAI flight from Singapore, to make sure that this was where my suitcase would emerge.

Then there was a sign on a pillar next to the conveyor belt printed on A4 paper. "Temporary toilet". The lack of enough toilets appeared to be haunting the new airport on Day Two.

But there was more travail to go through. The arrival lobby is too small. People squeeze together forming a wall so you can't see if someone came to pick you up.

Then I couldn't figure out where to hail a metered taxi. There was no sign and I ended up having to ask for information at an AOT counter. The woman there was pushing a pricey limousine service, but eventually caved in and told me to head one level down.

"But the queue down there is very long," she warned me. The taxi queue was actually twice, if not thrice, longer than those at Don Muang.

Why? Partly bad coordination and partly because this is a single-terminal airport. The taxi pick-up points must actually be fewer than at Don Muang, which has one domestic and two international terminals. And there was no proper sign telling you this is where you should wait!

While in line, two THAI passengers complained to me. One, an elderly gentleman who flew in from Brisbane, said he waited an hour and a half for his luggage to arrive. When he inquired about it with THAI ground staff, they didn't have a clue as to how long he had to wait.

"It was a long walk," he said, referring to the mega-long terminal and hall.

Another THAI passenger said the exit gate at the arrival hall was simply "miniature", which didn't make any sense.

Nobody seems to want to explain why this new gateway is not laid out better and more conveniently than the 92-year-old complex at Don Muang. I couldn't help wonder why AOT has to force thousands of travellers to undergo such a trying experience.

In the first few days they may claim that many things are not functioning properly because it's still new. But the management's attitude was self-congratulatory even though they should be profusely apologetic and do their best to meet travellers' expectations.

I couldn't see or feel a sense of excellence and a service mindset from them. Suvarnabhumi may end up becoming just another expensive airport that's better to look at than to use.

Perhaps a new management team that is more concerned and attentive to travellers' needs and satisfaction, comforts and convenience might improve things. A few executives deserve - not only to be shifted or reassigned - but fired."

Pravit Rojanaphruk

The Nation
Scotters is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 10:58 AM
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I booked a hotel at the Novtel Bagna Bankok. I think this is a closest hotel to the new airport without actually being on the airport property. Anyone know how far it is?
veracity is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 04:14 PM
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Distant wise it's not too far from the airport but I would try and stay somewhere else since the traffic around the Novotel Bangna can get quite heavy during the rush hours.

If you don't want to go into town then there are some reasonable hotels just "off" the expressway(Rama 9 exit) from the airport which you can get to in about 15 minutes like the Radisson which have reasonable rates.
Hanuman is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 07:30 PM
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If I had an early morning flight, I think the Novotel Bang Na would be a good option. But if the flight was after 9 a.m. it would be just as well to stay in the city. The Grand Mercure at Fortune Town is another possibility. For that matter, there are a lot of fairly nice, if not fancy, hotels along Ratchadapisek Road for around $40 to $50 a night.

The luggage problems and the bus/gate issue are apparently related to the fact that a fair number of employees simply didn't show up for work at the new airport, so there weren't enough people to transport luggage or 'drive' the jetways. I'm not surprised that a lot of low level staff simply decided it wasn't worth the effort to commute to the new airport, but apparently the management was. Thais are surprisingly awful at HR management.

I'll fly out on Wednesday, so we'll see how far they've recovered.
MichaelBKK is offline  
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