Six Major Thai Airports Working Beyond Capacity, Says Latest AoT Data

10th Nov 2017

Passenger congestions continue to plague major Thai airports, leading to increased waiting times for passengers, according to the latest data for the fiscal year to 30th September, 2017.

The airports received passenger traffic well beyond their aggregate design capacity of 96.5 million per year and together processed 33.9% over capacity at 129 million passengers. Passenger traffic for fiscal 2017 in Airports of Thailand-operated airports was 7.7% above the same period last year. In addition, six airports under AoT management handled a total of 823,574 aircraft landings and take-offs, or 6% more than last year.

Combined, the six AoT-operated airports saw 56.7 million domestic and 72.5% international passengers go through them. Respectively, that meant an increase of 9.3% and 6.6% from the year prior.

Individually, the biggest problem is the Suvarnabhumi airport. The biggest airport in Thailand has a capacity of 45 million passengers per year, but somehow handled almost 60 (59.1) million in the fiscal year, or 6.5% more than last year.

Don Muang processed 37.2 million passengers, despite its designed capacity of 30 million per year.

Phuket worked at twice the capacity it is designed for. Its capacity is 8 million, but the airport handled 16.2 million passengers in fiscal 2017, or 10.3% more than in fiscal 2016.

Chiang Mai surpassed its annual passenger capacity of 8 million by almost two million for a recorded 9.97 million passengers handled this fiscal year. This was up from previous year by 8.3%.

Finally, Hat Yai saw an increase of 12.3% from last year and processed 4.34 million passengers, while its capacity is set at 2.5 million per year.

Only Chiang Rai airport worked below capacity of 3 million passengers per year and handled 2.38 million. However, the airport saw a hike in passenger traffic from previous fiscal year of 21.7% (more than any other airport) and it is also moving in the same directions.

The top five carriers when it comes to passenger numbers were AirAsia, Thai Airways International, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air and Bangkok Air. At the same time, most passengers, not including Thailand, came from China, South Korea, Japan, India and Malaysia.

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