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Pattaya Daily News

01 October 2012 :: 12:10:52 pm 67060

Reopened Don Muang Airport Cleared For Takeoff

Don Muang airport reopened service for the first day in a lively environment, with the first flight departing for Bali at 6:15 a.m. Passengers said Don Muang is easier and more convenient than Suvarnabhumi airport because of its location and services.
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BANGKOK – October 1, 2012 [Pattaya Daily News]; the reopening of the Don Muang airport went smoothly with no reported problems. The atmosphere was busy and festive in the early morning with many passengers coming to the airport. Many said that because Don Muang is nearer to central Bangkok than Suvarnnabhumi airport, it is more convenient for them. Also, Don Muang is not as large, so customers don’t have to walk so far. The airport also provides a lot of services, they said.

The reopening got off to an early start, with passengers starting to check in at 4 a.m. for the first flight on Thai Air Asia airline, flight FD 367 to Bali. It departed from Don Muang airport at 6:15 a.m.

The Thai Air airlines president said that special care will be taken of Thai Air passengers for the first week to ensure that everything goes smoothly as the airport becomes fully operational. Mr. Tassaphol Balaweld, the chairman and executive officer of Thai Air Asia, said he is happy with the convenience that the reopening of Don Muang will offer to both passengers and airlines.

The reopened airport has hit the ground running, and will average 281 flights daily, divided between 73 international flight and 208 domestic flights. The busiest period will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., with 23 flights taking place during that hour.


The Don Muang airport will benefit budget travelers with several low-cost airlines, said acting 1st Lt. Aniroot Thanomkulboot, airport managing director. These budget airlines include Air Asia airline, Nok Air and Orient Thai. Also offering flights on a limited basis are Solar Air and Nok Mini airlines. Mr. Aniroot assumed that more low-cost airlines will start flight service at the airport in the future.

Mr. Aniroot’s initial assessment of the first-day opening service for DonMuan was very positive. He was happy that airport staff had prepared extremely well to handle the anticipated business. The airport had 124 points of check-in counters, 34 points of immigration check-throughs for departure, and 36 points for incoming passengers. There were 303 immigration officers to service passengers.

In addition, there were 4 X-ray machines, and 3 belts conveyor systems to deliver luggage. There were also 35 locations to park the airplanes that connected with passenger exits to the terminal, and 66 additional locations to park airplanes that were not joined to terminal exit doors.

With the streamlined procedures and preparations, the average time for passengers from check-in to boarding the plane is only 20 minutes; and for arriving passengers, processing time should average only 25 minutes.

A VIP who came to inspect the reopening operations was Mr. Chutchart Sitthiphan, the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Transport and Communication. Mr. Chutchart said that although the overall outlook is bright, he is still worried about the traffic problem for people traveling between the two airports, as well as central Bangkok’s road congestion. Further acccomodations need to be made to address the street transportation issues to make it more convenient for people, he said.

As for taxicab drivers who only choose foreign passengers, Mr. Chutchart also commanded the Department of Land Transport to ensure the local residents are not discriminated against, or left stranded by greedy taxicab drivers. To help take care of such issues, the police from the Viphavadee police station are coordinating with Don Muang airport to take care of people traveling to and from the airports.

The Don Muang airport had been closed in 2006 by former prime minister Taksin Shinawatra, who wanted Suvarnnabhumi airport to handle all Bangkok air traffic. However, in 2007, new prime minister Gen. Surayuth Julanon ordered Don Muang reopened. But last year’s massive flooding forced the airport to close again.

Category : Thailand News

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