Suvarnabhumi - latest news. Important.

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Old Aug 7, 06, 8:52 pm
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Suvarnabhumi - latest news. Important.

Thought this was worth a new thread, as it represents a fundamental shift in policy.

The government was reported yesterday to have told airlines that domestic flights will be moved to the new airport two weeks earlier than international ones. Exceptions will be made to domestic flights going to "popular tourist" destinations such as Chiang Mai and Phuket.

This has been done to ease the move of airport equipment from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi. Apparently!

Anyway, it may cause problems for those of you transitting between international flights and flights to lesser internal destinations during the last two weeks of September, until all operations shift to the new one. Please check with your agents/airlines if you had a tight connection. I've done the trip between the two airports; it took me IIRC about 40 minutes on the tollway, so bear in mind that'll be more like a couple of hours with getting out and checking-in again.

Might be a good time to let you into an open secret! "Suvarnabhumi" is pronounced nothing like it is written. It's more like "Soo-waah-na-poom". Just in case you get blank looks from a BKK cabbie!
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Old Aug 7, 06, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Meerkat
Might be a good time to let you into an open secret! "Suvarnabhumi" is pronounced nothing like it is written. It's more like "Soo-waah-na-poom". Just in case you get blank looks from a BKK cabbie!
I for one am DEFINITELY glad you spelled it out phonetically. I would have (very apologetically) butchered the pronunciation.
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Old Aug 7, 06, 9:46 pm
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Acutally, on reflection, I'll revise my phonetics. The waah is shorter, more like wah (rhymes with "are" but clipped). So..."Soo-wanna-poom".
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Old Aug 7, 06, 11:29 pm
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Not sure anything's really decided yet...

Quote: (Source: Thai National News Bureau Public Relations Department - 08 August 2006)

Next week, the board members who are responsible in developing Suvarnabhumi Airport will have a discussion on the possibility of this issue. Three alternatives will be discussed, and they include the transfer of all domestic flights, the transfer of flights that do not fly abroad afterward, or no transfer at all until September 28th. During the first two weeks, limousines in Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang will provide free services to the commuters.

Taxi drivers will know when the new airport opens, hence "Airport" will be sufficient. Do you say "don mwang" now? And they'll take you to the new airport because the fare will more. FWIW, there is a town in Thailand called Suvarnabhumi (sawannapoom) so extra efforts might put you far, far away from the airport.

Last edited by transpac; Aug 7, 06 at 11:36 pm
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Old Aug 8, 06, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by transpac
Not sure anything's really decided yet...

Quote: (Source: Thai National News Bureau Public Relations Department - 08 August 2006)

Next week, the board members who are responsible in developing Suvarnabhumi Airport will have a discussion on the possibility of this issue. Three alternatives will be discussed, and they include the transfer of all domestic flights, the transfer of flights that do not fly abroad afterward, or no transfer at all until September 28th. During the first two weeks, limousines in Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang will provide free services to the commuters.

Taxi drivers will know when the new airport opens, hence "Airport" will be sufficient. Do you say "don mwang" now? And they'll take you to the new airport because the fare will more. FWIW, there is a town in Thailand called Suvarnabhumi (sawannapoom) so extra efforts might put you far, far away from the airport.
Fair enough - as I said, check with your agent/airline. Everything seems to be changing on a weekly basis at the moment!

The problem re the two airports will only be for those last two weeks of September before all scheduled flights move on the 28th (I could say "if they all move..."). I doubt many cabbies will know which airport to take people to for those two weeks if the new proposal goes through. Come to think of it, I doubt many airlines will know which one to go to either!
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Old Aug 8, 06, 2:47 pm
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Talking

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Old Aug 9, 06, 7:10 pm
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THAI Announces Readiness to Migrate to Suvarnabhumi Airport

THAI Announces Readiness to Migrate to Suvarnabhumi Airport

Today (8 August 2006), Thai Airways International Public Company Limited held a press conference announcing readiness of the company’s six main activities to migrate to Suvarnabhumi Airport, which are prepared to transfer equipment and personnel.


Mr. Kobchai Srivilas, Senior Executive Vice President, Advisor for Special Projects, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, said that the company has prepared to migrate operations of its six main activities, those being Cargo and Mail Commercial, Ground Support Equipment Services, Catering Services, Aircraft Maintenance Center, Customer Services, and Operations Center. These six activities are prepared to migrate in time for the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport on 28 September 2006, whereby 1.8 million pieces will be moved. Objects that will be transferred have been separated into 9 groups (mentioned below), transported by large trucks, including 10-wheelers and container vehicles, at approximately 2,200 trips, in addition to 800 service vehicles that THAI will transfer in 3 periods, those being:

Pre-Transfer Period
Transfer equipment that does not effect everyday operations, such as office equipment and spare parts that are not used regularly, with migration to begin in August 2006 at approximately 1,248 trips.

Critical Transfer Period
Transfer equipment used in everyday flight operations, such as ground support equipment services, cargo, and catering services, utilizing not over 6 hours at approximately 1,086 trips.

Post Transfer Period
Transfer equipment that may be moved after the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport, such as aircraft spare parts and equipment used in the parking bay, at approximately 595 trips.

There are 6 routes used in traveling between Bangkok International Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport, as follows:

Route 1: Vibhavadi – Don Muang (tollway) – Expressway 2 – Motorway – Suvarnabhumi

Route 2: Vibhavadi – Laksi – Ramindra – East Ringroad – Motorway – Suvarnabhumi

Route 3: Paholyothin – Laksi – Ramindra – East Ringroad – Motorway – Suvarnabhumi

Route 4: Paholyothin – Lumluka – East Ringroad – Motorway – Suvarnabhumi

Route 5: Vibhavadi – Expressway 1 – Burapavitee Expressway– Gingkaew Road – Suvarnabhumi

Route 6: Vibhavadi – Expressway 1 – Burapavitee Expressway – Suvarnabhumi


In addition to the transfer of equipment, on the evening of 27 September 2006, THAI will transfer the parking location of its aircraft. A total of 27 aircraft will be flown without passengers from Don Muang’s Bangkok International Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport.


Furthermore, THAI has established a coordination center for migrating operations, public relations center, and press center at THAI’s Operations Center, located at Suvarnabhumi Airport. This coordination center has been set up in order to oversee migration, provide accurate information to the public, and decrease the chance of traffic congestion.


As for the readiness of over 17,000 employees who will migrate to Suvarnabhumi Airport, the company has provided training sessions to aid in familiarizing employees with their new work environment. In addition, the company has provided various means of assistance to employees, whereby they will receive the same benefits as extended in Don Muang, which includes return trip employee bus transportation, medical office, and housing facilitation. The National Housing Authority has assisted in arranging a real estate project for employees to purchase at special prices. The company has also provided assistance to employees whose children must transfer schools in their parents’ move to Suvarnabhumi. In addition, the company has prepared a work manual, map of various offices, telephone numbers, road plan, and other useful information for employees.


As for readiness in the area of construction and system integration in buildings, Mr. Chokchai Panyayong, Vice President, Project Development at the New Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi), Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, said that construction of all buildings for THAI’s six activities was completed in March 2005. Currently, information systems are being installed, while interior decoration for Ground Support Equipment Services, Aircraft Maintenance Center, and Cargo and Mail Commercial buildings are complete and ready for operations. Interior decoration for Customer Services, which is located in the passenger terminal, as well as Catering Services and Operations Center, will be complete in August 2006, ready to serve the public in time for the airport’s opening.




Packages of Equipment to be Migrated to Suvarnabhumi Airport and List of Companies to Transfer Equipment


Package 1 Office Equipment (IT, Furniture & Document/ Manuals)
Excellent Business Corporate International Company Limited

Package 2 Aircraft Service & Loading/ Unloading Equipment
DHL Logistics Thailand

Package 3 Aircraft Engine
N.E.T. Enterprise Company Limited

Package 4 Wheels & Brakes Shop Equipment
Siam Nawa Kohnsong

Package 5 Aircraft & Ground Service Equipment Spare Parts
Total Logistics Solutions Company Limited

Package 6 Containers & Pallets
Total Logistics Solutions Company Limited

Package 7 Tools & Equipment
Siam Nawa Kohnsong

Package 8 Catering & Cabin Items
Siam Nawa Kohnsong

Package 9 Moving Vehicles
Cargo Marketing International Company Limited

Package 10 Control and Audit of Migration
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited
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Old Aug 9, 06, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Meerkat

Actually, on reflection, I'll revise my phonetics. The waah is shorter, more like wah (rhymes with "are" but clipped).

So..."Soo-wanna-poom".
Male tourists often get asked on the street "Yoo-wanna-porn" so I can see some interesting conversations ahead.
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Old Aug 9, 06, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Meerkat

The government was reported yesterday to have told airlines that domestic flights will be moved to the new airport two weeks earlier than international ones. Exceptions will be made to domestic flights going to "popular tourist" destinations such as Chiang Mai and Phuket.
A timely post - thanks.

I am thinking of flying from SYD September 30 to BKK and then hubbing off next day on TG to either Laos, Burma, Vietnam, China or India for a few days. I imagine TG will regard them all as "international" so will all leave from the new airport?

Will any airlines use the old airport after end September?

Anyone know what the deal is with airport hotels at this new place? TG always sprang for a free overnight at Amari Hotel in the past as the SYD flight arrives late, and most local Asian/Indo China flights leave early am so they wear a hotel room for some reason.

Last edited by ozstamps; Aug 14, 06 at 11:26 am
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Old Aug 10, 06, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by ozstamps
A timely post - thanks.

I am thinking of flying from SYD September 30 to BKK and then hubbing off next day on TG to either Laos, Burma, Vietnam, China or India for a few days. I imagine TG will regard them all as "international" so will all leave from the new airport?

Will any airlines use the old airport after end September?

Anyone know what the deal is with airport hotels at this new place? TG always sprang for a free overnight at Amari Hotel in the past as the SYD flight arrives late, and most local Asian/Indo China flights leave early am so they wear a hotel room for some reason.
Your connection will with occur at the old airport, or at the new airport. Under no circumstances would you have to make a connection between the old and new airports, according to plans made available to the public to date.

No airlines will use the old airport after the new one opens. Whether this happens on 28 Sep, or later, is open for debate. Many plans have been floated for the future of Don Muang. The most recent one I heard about was turning it into a market, a la Chatuchuk possibly.

There is a new Novotel at the airport. I assume TG will use that as they did the Amari.
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Old Aug 10, 06, 11:31 am
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Change of plans

The reason why TG domestic is moving to the new airport two weeks before everyone else, is that the government hope to prove the new airport is ready for international airlines by showing that it actually does work. It seems that international airlines generally have told the Thai authorities that they don't believe the airport is ready for operations. The typical Thai attitude is "they're foreigners so they don't know anything about how things are in Thailand"

This move by TG domestic is at the government's direction and represents a fundamental change to the original plan. If you call up TG offices overseas (I understand from various friends) and press them for details they get very cagey and some even go so far as to say they are telling the Bangkok HQ that they've made the wrong decision

I have two international flights through Bangkok in September and fortunately they're both going through the existing airport. I next use Bangkok in November, so it will be intersting to see what has happened by then
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Old Aug 10, 06, 9:33 pm
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From Thai Airways website

Three routes, five flights.

THAI Conducts Domestic Flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phitsanulok, Ubon Ratchathani, and Chiang Mai on 15 September


Thai Airways International Public Company Limited will begin operating domestic flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport on 3 routes, at a total of 5 flights, on the route Bangkok – Phitsanulok (3 flights), Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani (1 flight), and Bangkok – Chiang Mai (1 flight), effective 15 September 2006 onwards.



Flg. Off. Apinan Sumanaseni, President of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, said that in accordance to the Government policy for domestic air carriers to begin operating flights to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport as of 15 September 2006 onwards, the company has studied the possibilities based on concern for passenger impact. The company has arranged flight operations on 3 routes, at a total of 5 flights, those being return flights to and from Bangkok – Phitsanulok v.v. (3 flights), Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani v.v. (1 flight), and Bangkok – Chiang Mai v.v. (1 flight), effective 15 September 2006, based on the following schedule.
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Old Aug 11, 06, 7:13 am
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Interesting conversation I had with ome TG F/As a few hours ago:

"It's political - fly domestic at a loss to prove Thaksin is the best"
"If they really want to open next month - it will be a lot of bull.... from the passengers because it will be a total chaos!"

Would have loved to chat with her longer but a young male F/A come barking "go back to your seat now! as soon as she went to handle some duty free issues.

I realize chat with F/As is not anything to actually believe but interesting nevertheless.
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Old Aug 11, 06, 4:26 pm
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Good idea listing the proper pronunciation of Suvarnabhumi. It's actually not TOO far off from the spelling because the letter "v" is pronounced as "w" and the "h" and "i" are silent. Suvarnabhumi means "Golden Land" and it is a better name than the other name for the location --- "Nong Ngu Hao" (Cobra Swamp).

Many times when I have gotten in a taxi to go to Suvarnabhumi, the driver refers to it as "Nong Ngu Hao". Many, many Thai's call it that was well.

And don't be completely surprised if there is NOT total chaos when it opens.
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Old Aug 11, 06, 10:14 pm
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Official tour of the airport Friday 11 Aug

I toured the new airport yesterday and took some pictures. My impression is that it simply cannot be properly completed by Sep 30; I would punt for a significant date in December (as a face saver) - Perhaps in time for the King's Birthday on 5th Dec? I'll try and link soem pic to my (very subjective) viewsw in a day or so.

Impressions.

Degree of completion. Dust filled the air and there was the incessant sound of tile cutting etc. Departure/Check-in area through to Immigration looked reasonably finished. 'Air-side' contruction complete, but finishing appeared hurried no grouting between floor tiles in many areas. Floor surface VERY slippery high gloss white tiles. Most of the airside 'shopping/restaurant areas appeared very incomplete.

Big. It is 5x larger than Don Muang according to briefing - I'd agree. There will be a lot of walking around, tiring for young/elderly/infirm even with the 'travelators'. Being late to check-in will require a re-evaluation of how much time you'll need to get to the gate !! There are 3.2 km of 'walking distance' if you add up all the various concourse connections.

Design. (very subjective) I don't like the architecture (German designer) - mainly polished steel, galss and greay concrete. Very 'cold' (from a mood perspective) and extremely minimalist. The seats at the gate holding 'pen' are cold, soul-less steel thing that look like they have been designed for a morgue. Logical, in that the various gates eventually feed back to 'Terminal Central'. And there are a number of innovate energy saving features, including glass roof that has ceramic 'spots' to assist power saving by allowing sunlight through, but also absorbing the heat. Clever vertical airconditioning devices, like aircraft wings that ooze cool air, rather than simply blowing it out at you.

Arrival process. We walked though the arrival sequence. Straight forward and clear, albeit a loooong way. Very little room after exiting customs, and there is no 'tout free' area as currently exists at Don Muang. Whilst you can grab a few curbsie taxis immediately ouside arrivals, we were told that shuttle busses will be used to get most pax closer to the Hotel/Train Station. The post-custom arrival area seems, to me, to be the poorest thought out 'space' in the whole complex. Hopefully I'll be wrong......

Ayway, just an initial impression. I'll be waiting for the real experiences to be posted by those having to really do it. Besides, a few pictures on the wall, some pot plants will probably make things more 'homely'.....

Here is a link that actually works (unlike the offical site). The intro movie is worth a viewing.
http://www.bangkokairportonline.com/

Cheers, TK

Last edited by Thai-Kiwi; Aug 11, 06 at 10:19 pm
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