You would need to have been deep inside a jungle or up a mountain to have missed the news about Thailand’s trouble with the new Suvarnabhumi Airport, so I haven’t bothered to add my opinion. Today however, the Thai government announced that it is to reopen the old Don Muang airport as an International Airport of Thailand, until the runways at Suvarnabhumi are repaired. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that a resolution to the problem at least has been agreed on. It only remains now to see which airlines wil use the Suvarnabhumi and which will use Don Muang.
Suvarnabhumi was built to handle 45 million passengers a year but already for its first year the projection is 40 million. Built to be a hub to rival Changi and Kuala Lumpur Airports, it is now plagued by a host of problems including cracks on its runway and taxiways, and lax security. None of this was helped by one Ministers’s suggestion that the pilots should avoid the cracks and fissures as they landed or taxied for take-off. The jokes are legendary, mainly to do with pilots of early years, goggles, leather helmets and sheepskin jackets on as they bumped along a runway while they waved to the crowds.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s Changi Airport is spending US$138 million for a stake in Nanjing Jujou International Airport in eastern China. Changi Airports International Pte, which is wholly owned by Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority is forging ahead to develop the Chinese facility into a model airport. Nanjing is in the top five of China’s cargo hubs.
Changi also has investments in New Zealand, Britain, Peru, the Caribbean island of Curacao and Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and Abu Dhgabi International Airport.