The government of Thailand has confirmed that a second terminal is to be built at Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok’s main international airport.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed on Tuesday that the $1.4bn project would go ahead, despite arguments over where it should be located and its environmental impact.
The airport masterplan sites a future terminal to the south of the airport, whereas Airports of Thailand (AOT), which operates the facility, argues that it should be an extension of the existing terminal in the northeast.
He added that a public hearing would be held into the plan to assess its design and gauge its environmental impact.
The announcement follows lobbying from AOT, which is also pressing for a third runway to accommodate the growing demand for flights. It also follows opposition from the Association of Siamese Architects, which last week argued that the terminal would not benefit passengers or ease overcrowding.
A report by the International Air Transport Association in 2017 estimated that Thailand would be the fifth fastest growing market for air travel, attracting 214 million passengers a year by 2037, putting it above France.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport was opened in 2006 to replace Don Mueang and later became the main gateway to Bangkok.
Image: Suvarnabhumi international (Nutjaru/CC BY-SA 4.0)