by Nick Upton
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Some Domestic Carriers Still Using Don Muang


There are now a profusion of airlines carrying passnegers on domestic flights. Some of these companies are still using Don Muang as their base for flights around Thailand so it is important that those preparing for domestic flights check which airport they are leaving from.

Nick Upton, 25th July 2009
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International Flights back to Don Muang and possible closure of Suvarnabhumi

Another twist in the story of Suvarnabhumi airport, which was only opened in September 2006, is that many international flights will now switch back to Don Muang airport which is expected to reopen in a matter of weeks after a quick refurbishment.

Cracks in runways and taxiways at Suvarnabhumi have forced the government to make this announcement, which follows quickly after it was perceived that only domestic flights would relocate. The new airport was built in a rush, and engineers apparently overlooked the fact that they were building on a swamp, factors which have resulted in the withholding of a saftey certificate!

As if the situation wasn't embarrassing enough for the government and inconvenient for passengers, there is to be an announcement later in the week (14/02/07) on whether the airport will be completely & closed for repairs; this less than a year after opening.

With this in mind it is important for all travelers to Thailand in the next few months to make sure they know which airport they will be landing at.

Nick Upton, 11th February 2007 using information from the Bangkok Post.
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Some flights going back to Don Muang Airport

The Transport Ministry has agreed to move some domestic flights (those with no international connections) from Suvarnabhumi airport back to Don Muang to reduce congestion at the new airport, which requires space for repairs. This decision will go for cabinet approval on 6th February with relocation of flights, on a voluntary basis, 45-60 days after the meeting.

Cracked taxiways and runways, damaged airbridges and problems in the passenger terminal had caused congestion at Suvarnabhumi airport, creating a farcical situation less than 6 months after opening. It is estimated that a partial return to Don Muang would ease congestion by about 30% and allow repairs to take place in order to deal with concerns over safety on taxiways, runways and in the passenger terminal.

Flights to Chiang Mai, Krabi and Phuket would be available at both airports and THAI would provide a passenger shuttle service between the two airports. Thai AirAsia will not be moving back to Don Muang as its domestic and international flights have to share aircraft.

Unbelievably, it is said that the switch back to Don Muang will take in the region of 50 days because the western runway at that airport is also unsafe and must be repaired. Accusations have been levelled at the previous government for rushing the work at Suvarnabhumi and it has been suggested that a high level of corruption was in operation in the process of awarding contracts which has resulted in unsatisfactory completion of the airport.

If taking domestic flights within Thailand over the next few months it would be a good idea to find out which airport the flight will be using.

Nick Upton, 30th Januray 2007 using information from the Bangkok Post.
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