Millions of passengers are arriving in Thailand annually to visit Bangkok or stay at a Chiang Mai resort that passenger congestion is currently a problem. The latest data revealed that six main airports in the country are currently receiving more passengers that it is designed for. The airports’ capacities have been stretched by more than one third of the recommended passengers.
The six airports together with the gateway located in Suvarnabhumi and the Don Mueang which is a hub for low cost carriers, have received 129 million foreign travellers for the fiscal year until September 30 of this year. They were designed to handle only 96.5 million passengers every year and this capacity is more than 33.9 per cent or 32.7 million passengers.
Figures submitted by the Airports of Thailand Plc showed that the number of passengers that are arriving at the airports under their management has increased 7.7 per cent for this fiscal year compared to the previous year.
The agency has also recorded a total of 823,574 movements from the aircrafts which records the number of take offs and landings. This figure is 6 per cent higher compared to the previous fiscal year.
The passenger traffic continues to increase because of the continued boom in tourism and therefore resulted to a big gap between the actual design capacity of the airports and the actual number of passengers they are processing.
AoT does not plan to limit the number of arrivals and departures in these airports. Expansion projects, on the other hand, for these airports are already behind the expected completion date.
Overcrowding is most critical in Phuket, Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi which is an ongoing issue for the past few years.
In the case of Suvarnabhumi, its design capacity was only 45 million passengers annually but it has received 59.1 million passengers in the recent fiscal year. It was 6.5 per cent higher compared to last year.
Don Mueang’scapcity is only 30 million passengers annually but received 37.2 million passengers while passengers going to Chiang Mai resort reach 9.97 million but its capacity is only 8 million.