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Suwarnabhoomi, a disaster?

 
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karatecatman
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:15 pm    Post subject: Suwarnabhoomi, a disaster? Reply with quote

Thailand’s airports operator has said that it recognises that Suwarnabhoomi has severe limitations and that it is a project that has drawbacks. It says it will now reopen Dom Muang, Bangkok’s old airport for domestic commercial flights to relieve congestion at the new Suvarnabhumi airport, says a BBC report.
The decision was made by the Airports of Thailand (AoT). The reopening of the Don Muang will not happen before March 15, to give the old international airport time to prepare to resume commercial flight operations.
Suvarnabhumi, which opened only three months ago, has already become congested as traffic has increased, she said.
Don Muang has been used only for charter and military flights.
National carrier Thai Airways International has welcomed the move, saying Don Muang will offer lower operating costs on domestic flights. Suwarnabhoomi has increased our costs, Thai has said.
Thailand had hoped to turn Suvarnabhumi, whose name means ‘‘golden land’’ in Thai, into Southeast Asia’s largest aviation hub, but problems are many.
LCC operators have almost pushed the move to go back to Don Muang, saying Suwarnabhoomi was a disaster, too congested and their costs have increased.
Suvarnabhumi, 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Bangkok, cost 113 billion baht (three billion US dollars) and has an initial capacity to serve 45 million passengers a year.
Moving domestic flights back to Don Muang will put off the need to expand the new airport, which was designed to grow to eventually accommodate 120 million passengers a year.
Thai Airways has also said that developing nations need to learn the lessons from Suwarnabhoomi. A new large airport is not necessarily the right answer, it said.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - this is really surprising and sad! I hope we don't come to this situation at BLR - where the contract will force the closure of the current HAL airport.
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AKLDELNonstop
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend just transitted through Suvarnabhumi last week, says its a vast but its also a bore. Apparently repeat of the same duty free shops and not a lot to do also not a lot in terms of eating options.

Cheers
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the_380
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even thought Suvarnabhoomi boasts of its size its nowhere like Don Muang with the beautiful golf course between two runways.This ones more of quantity than quality
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crew320
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKLDELNonstop wrote:
My friend just transitted through Suvarnabhumi last week, says its a vast but its also a bore.

I couldn't agree with you more...

karatecatman wrote:
Thailand had hoped to turn Suvarnabhumi, whose name means ‘‘golden land’’ in Thai

Doesn't Suvarnabhumi mean the same in Hindi as well ?

the_380 wrote:
Even though Suvarnabhoomi boasts of its size its nowhere like Don Muang with the beautiful golf course between two runways.

Golf course ?? I was expecting something better than a golf course at this brand new airport while landing there for the first time, what I found was this:




aM
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VABBy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whats the source of this article KCM???

The biggest problem with these media reports is that half baked information which is provided to the people because of their handicap in not knowing and neither going much into specifics.

Hw can an airport which is built for a certain capacity get congested so early??

Either they did bad forecasting in which watever estimates they calculated depending upon the growth rates have totally gone haywire

Or there is some problems in the operations which is leading to the congestion. And incase there is they shud sort this out.

I guess the airport has 2 runways right???
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Aseem
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

couple of things over here..

First of all we don't know about the source and its credibility. Even if we factually agree with what is mentioned in the article, what I feel is that this airport is not fully operational as yet. As a result you might see congestion at few operational bays. And as it has not been operational for long, so don't expect duty free and shops teeming with people. It would be like a newly constructed grand mall. You need time to fill it with people and make it lively. And consturcting a building is faster than nuturing a golf course.

Also, it says that it will be the biggest hub in Asia. Is it in anyway bigger than Chep Lok Kok or Changi??

rgds
VT-ASJ

p.s. considering India's influence on its east, i won't be surprised if Suvarnabhumi means Golden Land in Thai as well. Just look at the Thai script


and compare it with Tamil
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AKLDELNonstop
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, Aseem Suvarnabhumi does mean Golden Land. A bit of info here, this airport was supposed to take shape many years ago but did not due to various issues. Then in 97/98 King Bhumibol of Thailand is supposed to have "blessed" this project and named the airport Suvarnabhumi. I believe the meaning of the word has its roots in Sanskrit.

Also the congestion is because large parts of the airport are so far unopened due to constructions.

Cheers
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the_380
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok maybe golf course takes time. But more duty free shops, entertainment complexes etc can be opened within the airport. Rolling Eyes Atleast they can put grass beds and make it look like Thailand rather than some middle east country. DXB airport is more greener i guess Idea
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selecta
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an article from November and it highlights the key problems with the new airport.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Bangkok airport experiences severe birthing pains

By Thomas Fuller
Sunday, November 12, 2006
link


BANGKOK

From a distance it is a shimmering edifice that rises above the surrounding flatlands like a giant space pod, a prime candidate for the cover of an architecture magazine.

But do not look too closely. Six weeks after opening, the tarmac at Bangkok's new airport is cracked in several places, the bare concrete walls of the sprawling terminal appear unfinished and the arrival hall is chronically overcrowded.

These are only a few of the problems and complaints that have emerged at Suvarnabhumi airport, which after four decades of debate, planning and construction opened on Sept. 28 and was supposed to cement Bangkok's role as an air hub for the region.

"I hear so many complaints from my clients I don't know where to begin," said Onsuma Prompong, 38, the owner of the Tour Agency Travel Corner. "The most common are the crowding in the check-in areas, delays in check-ins and this marathon walk passengers have to endure when they're trying to reach the plane.

"Dirty toilets are also a big concern," she said. That is, when travelers can find a toilet.

Last month, the deputy prime minister of Thailand's military-appointed government, Pridiyathorn Devakula, ordered the airport authority to tear down offices and install more toilets in response to one of the most glaring and frequently criticized oversights of the complex, which is now used by about 100,000 people a day.

"It has been under constant criticism since the day it came into operations," Pridiyathorn said. Suvarnabhumi airport replaced the workmanlike and time-worn Don Muang airport, which is now used mainly by the government.

Raveewan Netarakawesana, director of public relations for the Airports Authority of Thailand, which manages the airport and oversaw its construction, says her office has received a litany of gripes: "inadequate and ambiguous signs," overcrowding, faulty air-conditioning, lack of seats at the departure areas - and the "naked-looking concrete, paintless columns, walls and structures."

Every new airport, especially one as big as Suvarnabhumi, which has the world's largest single terminal, has teething problems.

But while some of the problems at the airport are being addressed, others will be more difficult to fix, such as the overcrowding, which is a "structural restriction resulting from the design," Raveewan said.

The airport authority also has no plans to change the look of the facility - Raveewan says the bare concrete, which is most visible at boarding gates, is "part of the design."

Some of the cracks in the tarmac have been patched, but a survey of runways, taxiways and parking gates revealed three or four more problem areas, Raveewan said. Suvarnabhumi was built in what used to be a swamp and although the area was drained and filled, the airport has had trouble with water accumulation.

"The cracks were the result of poor maintenance, together with the water that stays idle on the surface for a long time," Raveewan said.

Inside the terminal, the airport authority has earmarked 40 million baht, just over $1 million, to build 20 new bathrooms - with a total of 205 toilets, 118 urinals and 248 new wash basins. Some of the current wash basins are poorly designed and water splashes onto the floor.

There is no doubt Suvarnabhumi has its fans: The airport itself has become a tourist attraction for Thai families, who picnic beside one of the main runways on weekends and watch the giant aircraft taking off and landing. Taxi drivers also like the new airport and not only because they get higher fares. Suvarnabhumi is connected to central Bangkok by a number of highways so the trip is less afflicted by traffic jams that sometimes blocked access to the old airport.

But the complaint most often heard about Suvarnabhumi is that it is more pretty than practical. One particularly nagging problem is that, despite the size and number of parking gates at the main terminal, passengers are often asked to disembark onto buses that bring them to the building.

"It's the last thing you expect to have with such a huge airport that claims to live up to a regional standard," said Janthana Samleerangkul, 35, a travel agent in Bangkok.

Alex Temander, 29, a jewelry designer, who recently flew out of the airport to Phnom Penh, also disembarked onto a shuttle bus instead of walking straight off the plane and into the terminal. She complained of a lack of automatic teller machines, long lines at the foreign exchange booth and a general lack of signs. The airport, she said, was more difficult to use than more established facilities around the region.

"It's a great design on the outside but it doesn't measure up to Hong Kong or Singapore airport and should be more customer-serviced," Temander said.

The airport authority has blamed the rush to completion for the problems. After a series of delays, the government of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed in a coup on Sept. 19, ordered that the airport open on Sept. 28. Some officials said that was several months too early.

"It's undeniable that the problems resulted from the decision to open the airport too soon, when it was not ready," said the president of the airport authority, Chotisak Asapaviriya, according to the Bangkok Post.

Yet many of the problems seem to stem from design flaws more than hurried construction - the lack of bathrooms and the overcrowding among them.

Pridiyathorn, the deputy prime minister, asked that the airport authority focus on improving the airport before turning to expansion plans - plans that would more than double capacity from the current 45 million passengers a year.

The hope, passengers said, was that the expansion did not mean even bigger crowds and even longer walks.

"In general, it's a very nice airport," said Angus Hain, 36, an English teacher who recently flew from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City. "But an airport is an airport. What makes a good airport is that you can get through as quickly as possible."

Uamdao Noikorn contributed reporting for this article from Bangkok.
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VABBy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old article Bt then yeah somehow it has managed to highlight the problem. It seems the ousted PM of Thailand got the airport opened before it was actually ready for it.

Shortage of toilets is something which we can attribute towards poor designing. offcourse Swanky interiors are welcome but nt at the cost of basic amenities.

Nt many ATM,s and forex dealers again i guess we need to catch the airport authorities who havent auctioned the place quickly.

Because of the thing built on the reclaimed land water stagnation is leading to cracks. Thats a serious issue bt then things need to be sorted out.

My choice will be let Don Muang be the LCC airport and the new baby serve the full service carriers.
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karatecatman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suvarnabhumi Airport has about 100 cracks in the taxiways that lead up to runways and will need to close the damaged areas for repair, a top airport official said, acccording to BBC
Somchai Sawasdeepon, the general manager of Suvarnabhumi Airport and a senior executive in state-run Airports of Thailand, denied news reports splashed across front pages saying that the cracks had also emerged in runways.
Somchai said the cracks began appearing about two weeks after the airport opened and are believed to stem from underground water seeping through the cement and asphalt, Somchai said. The airport was built on a former swamp.
The cracks were made public by a panel set up by the National Legislative Assembly to inspect the airport’s construction.
Praphan Koonmee, head of the panel, said that his investigating committee toured the airport Sunday and detected cracks in both the taxiways and runways, totaling about 70,000 sq. meters (750,000 sq. feet) in damage.
An independent panel of engineers is due to begin a separate investigation, after which airport authorities plan to close the cracked taxiways for repairs, Somchai said. He said the cracks ‘‘at about 100 points’’ were mainly clustered around seven different areas.
The airport’s two runways are each served by more than 10 taxiways, and any closures would not cause delays in air traffic, Somchai said, says BBC.
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