Where is Suvarnabhumi International Airport located

Airport & Airport Management Aviation, Ground Handling, Non Aviation

"Sawasdee" at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok's new international airport. King Bhumibol baptized the airport with the name Suvarnabhumi, which means "golden land", a traditional name of the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region. The airport describes itself as the "Airport of smile", which is reflected in the vision. It is a major international airport in the province of Samut Prakan, approx. 25 km east of Bangkok.

The aim of the royal government is to make Thailand the hub in Southeast Asia. Suvarnabhumi is a very modern, huge airport, with enormous dimensions. The huge hangars look like oversized tents and the airport sets new accents with its steel / glass construction. The latest technology awaits the guests below the construction, in the form of video screens and advertising space, as well as works of art. You are in a world of your own. With over 42 million handled passengers in 2010, the airport is one of the largest in Asia and in a global comparison it ranks 17th. According to Skytrax, it is also one of the best airports in the world. Every major international airline is represented at Suvarnabhumi. Thai Airways Int., Thai Air Asia and Bangkok Airways have their hubs here. There are currently 86 airlines operating flights to or from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Sister airports are Munich, Incheon, Narita and Beijing.

Airport location

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As early as 1973, the property of today's airport was acquired by the government. The first planning for the project began very early on, but when Don Mueang Airport reached its capacity limit at the beginning of the 1990s, the plans became concrete, as an expansion of the old airport was not possible due to the geographical location. The architects Murphy and Jahn secured the competition for the award of the project. Due to political and economic crises, the project was delayed over and over again. In some places, the construction was the longest-running airport project in the world. In January 2002 construction work could finally begin. The Thai government hoped that the building would create a landmark for the economically up-and-coming Thailand and the city of Bangkok and therefore incurred construction costs of 120 billion baht (around € 3 billion today). One reason for these costs is the location of the airport. It is located in a very damp area and only approx. 2 m above sea level. In September 2006, after a construction period of more than 4 ½ years, flight operations began. This makes Suvarnabhumi Airport one of the most modern airports in Asia. The old Don Mueang Airport is now used as a regional and alternate airport in the event of an emergency. Since opening, Suvarnabhumi Airport has had to deal with breakdowns time and again. In addition to structural problems and repair tasks that led to enormous delays and failures, Protestants put the airport out of action for 9 days in the wake of protests over the crisis in Thailand in 2008.


▪ Transport links

The airport has 5 connections to the road network. The main one is the Bangkok-Chon Buri Motorway. A large number of multi-storey car parks with a capacity of over 6,000 parking spaces ensure sufficient parking space. Furthermore, around 10 bus routes connect the airport with the center and nearby places. There is a taxi rank outside the arrivals hall. In about 1 hour and for the equivalent of about 10 € you can get to the center of Bangkok. A connection to the rail network is provided by the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rails. These consist of 3 different lines with different travel times, as well as stop and end points. A train ticket costs between 40 cents and 4 euros (express train). As an alternative, you can borrow a rental vehicle at the airport.

▪ Terminal area

With an area of ​​around half a million square meters, the airport terminal is one of the largest in the world. It is divided into the pure passenger terminal and the maintenance halls. In the approximately 180,000 square meter passenger terminal there are 360 ​​check-in counters, 100 check-in machines, 22 baggage belts, 34 customs control counters and approx. 200 passport control counters. It also has around 100 elevators, 100 treadmills and 80 escalators. The whole is spread over 7 floors. In addition to the general facilities, there are a variety of restaurants, shops and cozy waiting areas. National and international passengers are handled in this area. The total area of ​​the airport site is 32 million m2. On the airport grounds there is also the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Bangkok, a 4 star hotel with 612 rooms. King Bhumibol will have his own "Kings Terminal" here. Two jumbo jets can dock at the royal gate at the same time.

▪ Flight operations areas

The airport control tower is over 130 meters high, making it one of the highest in the world. It was equipped with the most modern technology. Including navigation systems and an instrument landing system. Approx. 76 flight movements per hour can be made possible on the two parallel runways. The two lanes are each 60 meters wide and 4,000 m and 3,700 m long. In order to guarantee a smooth process, there are also two parallel feeder lanes and 52 taxiways. The airport has 120 parking spaces for aircraft. 51 of these are fixed gates with direct contact with the terminal. 5 gates have been expanded for the Airbus A380. The 51 fixed gates are laid out in a cross shape. Together they enable 45 million passengers and 3 million tons of freight to be handled each year.

facts and figures

Suvarnabhumi Airport, which opened in 2006, took over the IATA code BKK from what was then Don Mueang Airport. This airport now operates under the code DMK. Both airports are operated by the airport company Airports of Thailand Ltd. operated. Suvarnabhumi operates 24 hours a day, making it easy to use for international flights. The two runways run parallel to each other and enclose one terminal. There are already plans to expand the airport to 4 runways and 2 terminals. The airport currently has a capacity of 45 million passengers and a possible cargo turnover of 3 million tons per year. The expansion should increase this to 80-100 million passengers and 6.4 million tons. With 42.5 million passengers in 2010, the airport just reached the limit of passenger handling. There is still potential in freight handling at just over 1.27 million tons. With over 260,000 flight movements in 2010, the airport achieved aviation sales of € 351.2 million. With additional sales from the non-aviation sector, the airport achieved total sales of € 586 million and was able to generate a profit of € 57.3 million. With the additional expansion and development of the Asia and Oceania region, the airport is predicted to have a bright future.

founded2006 Passengers42,5 
IATA codeBKKFlight movements 261.782 
Airport companyAirports of Thailand Ltd. Air freight in tons1.273.504 
surface3200 haTotal revenue€ 586 million
Height above sea level2 m Aviation turnover€ 351 million
Distance Bangkokapprox. 25 km Sales non-aviation€ 235 million
Operating times24 hoursResult€ 57.3 million
Runways01R / 19L 4000m x 60m
01L / 19R 3700m x 60m
Number of employees2625 

Additional information


Rothfischer B., Large Airports, Munich 2011
Rothfischer B., Airports of the World, Munich 2011

Author: Stefan Schösser