Group DescriptionBangkok's new international airport, pronounced su-wan-na-poom
Suvarnabhumi Airport (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ; pronounced /sùwānnápʰūːm/) (IATA: BKK, ICAO: VTBS), also known as (New) Bangkok International Airport, is the international airport serving Bangkok, Thailand. After numerous delays and decades of planning, the airport opened for limited service on 15 September 2006, and opened for all commercial flights on 28 September. The airport is the main hub for Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai Airlines, PBair, Thai AirAsia and a focus city for Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Air, Air India, Druk Air, Indian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.
The airport is located in Racha Thewa in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan Province, about 25 km east of downtown Bangkok. The name Suvarnabhumi was chosen by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and refers to the golden kingdom hypothesized to have been located somewhere in Southeast Asia. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Architects, this airport has the world's tallest control tower (132.2 m), and the world's second largest single building and airport terminal (563,000 m²), a little smaller than Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok Airport) (570,000 m²) and larger than South Korea's Incheon International Airport (496,000 m²). Suvarnabhumi is one of the busiest airports in Asia and Bangkok's primary airport for all commercial airline flights. The airport inherited the airport code BKK from Don Mueang after the older airport ceased commercial flights.
Months into its opening, issues such as congestion, construction quality, signage, provision of facilities, and soil subsidence continued to plague the project, prompting calls to reopen Don Mueang to allow for repairs to be conducted. Expert opinions varied widely regarding the extent of Suvarnabhumi's problems as well as their root cause; most airlines stated that damage to the airport was minimal. Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont decided on 16 February 2007 to reopen Don Mueang for domestic flights on a voluntary basis, with 71 weekly flights moved back initially, with no international flights allowed.
The airport has become a key economic strength for the nation, as a modern motorway connects the airport, Bangkok, and the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard of Thailand, where most of the export oriented manufacturing takes place. Despite little media attention paid to cargo, around the clock cargo shipments with excellent connections for exporters was a significant reason for its construction (as lobbying by Japanese exporters and Japanese government support were major facilitators), and the export led recovery of the Thai baht and the nation's strong current account surplus since its opening is further evidence of its massive effect.
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