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Old September 28th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #761
archstudent
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FROM OLD TO NEW's AIRPORT











































from www.bangkokbiznews.com

Last edited by archstudent; September 28th, 2006 at 02:27 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #762
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Bangkok's New $4.1 Billion Airport Opens for Flights

By Beth Jinks and Anuchit Nguyen

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi airport, built on the reclaimed Cobra Swamp, opened today to full domestic and international traffic, with 800 soldiers on hand to sort and lug baggage when systems fail.

Some flights were delayed and luggage was lost or misplaced when the airport was forced to use manual sorting in place of some automated processes at the new 155 billion baht ($4.1 billion) airport, Thai Airways International Pcl President Apinan Sumanaseni told reporters.

A record 40 million passengers will use Bangkok airport in the next 12 months, and the numbers may rise as tourists shrug off last week's bloodless military coup. The junta, which ousted the government of billionaire Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Sept. 19, stuck to the former government's schedule for the airport opening.

``The automatic system for baggage handling, especially for departing flights, is not functioning,'' Apinan said. ``They are using their hands to differentiate baggage for each flight.'' The problem may get worse as the number of flights increases in the evening, when planes depart to Europe, he said.

Chalit Pukbhasuk, Thailand's Air Force chief and a deputy leader of the junta, told reporters yesterday the facility was ``100 percent ready'' during a final inspection.

Lingering Concerns

Airlines expressed concerns about insufficient power supplies, lengthy baggage systems, fire-damaged catering centers and unfinished airline lounges before today's opening. The soldiers will be stationed at the facility for three months ``just in case they're needed'' for luggage handling, Chalit said.

Thai Air, the country's biggest airline which operates an average of 270 flights through Bangkok daily, had delays of up to 45 minutes for 17 of its first 19 takeoffs today, and 200 suitcases remained ``stuck at the airport'' Apinan told reporters today.

Baggage system failures plagued airports in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur during their openings. In Hong Kong, cargo delays also resulted in a backlog and damaged perishables.

``We are working to reduce the number of baggage losses and loading delays,'' Wanchai Sarathulthat, permanent secretary at the transport ministry, told reporters today. ``We've added staff in the baggage rooms to work by hand.''

The Real Test

Suvarnabhumi, pronounced ``soo-wan-na-poom'', means Golden Land and was chosen by King Bhumibol Adulyadej in January 2002.

``We lost two of our seven suitcases, and there are a number of people in our tour group who've also lost their luggage,'' said Rakesh Shett, product manager at an Indian pharmaceutical company, after he arrived on a Thai Air flight from Mumbai. ``We are praying that we will get them back.''

Suvarnabhumi has been handling some domestic flights since earlier this month to test systems, with 155 takeoffs and landings yesterday. Today will it deal with the full contingent of 813 flights - the real test - according to Somchai Sawasdeepon, general manager of Suvarnabhumi.

As the first international passenger flight arrived from Kiev at 4:30 a.m. workers were still installing equipment and finishing off fittings, as duty free store clerks unwrapped merchandise and hung signs. Most airline lounges won't be ready until next year, said Chotisak Asapaviriya, president of Airports of Thailand Pcl, which operates Suvarnabhumi.

More Signs

Airports of Thailand will provide more signs and English- speaking staff after passengers complained of trouble navigating the airport, Wanchai said.

The junta decided to open the facility on Thaksin's deadline, as airlines have already adjusted schedules for the transition. Carriers including Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. worked for months to be ready to move operations to the new airport.

``Too much was at stake to pull out of the opening so they had to go ahead,'' said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a professor of political science at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

First conceived in 1960 and built from a 1994 design, Suvarnabhumi may fill its 45 million capacity in its first year, according to Airports of Thailand Pcl, which operates Suvarnabhumi.

Construction Site

``It looks like the airport will be full from day one,'' Derek Sadubin, general manager at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said in an interview today. ``The authorities will have to think about expanding the airport and there could be a construction site for some years to come.''

The new facility is more than five times the size of Don Muang, and is capable of handling the Airbus SAS A380, the world's biggest commercial plane. A new satellite terminal to boost its capacity is scheduled for completion in 2010.

After a farewell ceremony, 92-year-old Don Muang sent off its last commercial flights last night and will be used by only private aircraft and charter flights from today.

The new airport is also needed to boost exports -- particularly of fresh produce like seafood and fruit -- by providing better warehousing and refrigerated airfreight capacity, Chotisak told a seminar on Sept. 12.

``A bunch of fish and frogs have died at Don Muang before they got to dinner tables overseas,'' Chotisak said. ``At Suvarnabhumi, those fish and frogs won't die any more.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Beth Jinks in Bangkok at [email protected]
Last Updated: September 28, 2006 03:36 EDT
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Old September 28th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #763
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It's so crowded.
Is that crowd going to be a normal thing?
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Old September 28th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #764
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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #765
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Cool & sexy airport !
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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:09 PM   #766
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YAY BANGKOK!!!

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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:14 PM   #767
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15+ years in the making. About time!

Nice work!
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Old September 29th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamadoor
It's so crowded.
Is that crowd going to be a normal thing?
At Don Muang airport was overcrowded.
At Suvarnabhumi airport gonna be crowded soon
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Old September 29th, 2006, 02:31 AM   #769
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45 years
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Old September 29th, 2006, 03:01 AM   #770
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Very beautiful new BKK airport!

Congratulations!!
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Old September 29th, 2006, 05:22 AM   #771
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Congratulations Bangkok!

This airport is stunning!
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Old September 29th, 2006, 06:41 AM   #772
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Problems are to be expected upon the first day of opening no big deal. It happened to Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong international both suffered baggage problems.
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Old September 29th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #773
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if the new airport is crowded already i wouldve hated to be in don muang on a normal day...
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Old September 29th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #774
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Congratulations!
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Old September 29th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #775
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Yep....its crowded....
maybe terminal 2 construction should start soom........
any happy OPENING!!!.........
btw.... checkin problems is now gone....the problem left is baggage delay...
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Old October 1st, 2006, 04:22 AM   #776
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www.hflight.net
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Old October 1st, 2006, 04:45 AM   #777
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Speechless...
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Old October 1st, 2006, 05:53 AM   #778
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i went to the terminal yesterday.. as many people said i think the terminal looks full right now... very crowded. they should think about expansion..
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Old October 1st, 2006, 07:51 AM   #779
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Very nice! Any more photos?
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Old October 1st, 2006, 10:05 AM   #780
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SECOND OPENING DAY @ SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT


















for more pics > http://rawin2.spaces.live.com/?_c11_...&_c=PhotoAlbum
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