Jan. 25--The plan to reopen passenger Terminal 2 (T2) at Don Mueang airport in May is facing a three-month delay due to complications involving its renovation estimated to cost 3 billion baht.
Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) found it will take longer than expected to install a new carousel, add more decorations, refurnish the toilets and allow retailers to set up shops.
There are also issues concerning construction details and budget overages involving related work.
The complications are expected to put off T2's full operation to September, but it will be partially open for service to handle arriving passengers in May, said airport general manager Chaturongkapon Sodmanee.
He said T2's partial reopening should provide a timely incremental capacity increase to the airport as T1 reaches its peak.
T1 is expected to cope with rising traffic this year before T2 becomes available, said Mr Chaturongkapon.
Renovation difficulties stem from the fact that T2 has been left derelict since 2006, when Suvarnabhumi assumed the role of Bangkok's gateway airport and Don Mueang was closed.
T2's condition worsened during the 2011 floods, but T1 was restored soon afterward and reactivated several months later, serving primarily low-cost carriers.
AoT put the renovation of T2 and other supporting facilities, which were planned for November 2014, on the fast track in a bid to ensure additional capacity to deal with soaring air traffic demand before T1 becomes overcrowded.
Company data peg T1's passenger throughput for the year to last Sept 30 at 15.6 million compared with an annual capacity of 18.5 million.
T2's opening will raise Don Mueang's annual passenger capacity to 30 million.
The renovated T2 will be used for domestic passengers, while T1 will subsequently get a multibillion-baht improvement.
There will be 80 check-in counters, down from 92 now, with the six check-in islands remaining unchanged.
Copyright 2014 - Bangkok Post, Thailand
TAI union has threatened industrial action if the idea of using Don Mueang international airport again is not scrapped.
Union says past negotiations failed to convince management to pay monthly salaries instead of daily wages to about 3,000 employees and to offer a 3-5 pecent pay rise.
Bangkok and Singapore will feel the ripple effect of increased air travel from China and India.