Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Opens New Sat-1 Terminal
Bangkok, 28 September 2023 – Suvarnabhumi Airport has scheduled a soft launch for the first Midfield Satellite Building, known as SAT-1 today, bringing its passenger handling capacity to 60 million per year from 45 million currently. The
Bangkok, 28 September 2023 – Suvarnabhumi Airport has scheduled a soft launch for the first Midfield Satellite Building, known as SAT-1 today, bringing its passenger handling capacity to 60 million per year from 45 million currently.
The SAT-1 terminal constitutes a key part of the Suvarnabhumi Airport’s phase-two development, which consists of several sub-projects to strengthen the Airport’s capability to accommodate growing passengers to Thailand and air traffic.
“The SAT-1 terminal has successfully undergone the full-scale trial operations in collaboration with the airlines, ground service providers, and related agencies.”Kittipong Kittikachorn, Suvarnabhumi Airport’s General Manager
The trial operations were conducted three times, during the daytime on 8 and 12 September, and during the night-time on 20 September, to ensure that the SAT-1 was truly up and running on 28 September and passed the systems operational readiness test covering services at the terminal apron area, connecting taxiway, service roads, work within the building, utilities, APM and baggage handling systems, as well as the aspects of service continuity and safety inspections according to the international standards by the relevant regulatory bodies.
Covering a total indoor usable area of 251,400 square metres and an apron area of more than 260,000 square metres, the SAT-1 terminal is a four-storey building with two basements.
The B2 level is home to the APM Station and the B1 level is for the systems control room while the G level houses the Baggage Handling System (BHS) and offices.
Level 2 is dedicated to arrival passengers and those on flight connections while Level 3 is the departure area with a waiting area for boarding passengers in an open gate-style layout and shops lining the hallway. Level 4 is set aside for passenger lounges, airlines’ lounges, and other facilities.
The building is connected to the main terminal by an underground tunnel with a length of about one kilometre. Operating inside the tunnel are the APM system, the BHS, and two airside service roads. Travelling from the current terminal to the SAT-1 terminal is by means of the APM, an unmanned electric vehicle with rubber wheels used solely to transport passengers.
Passengers travelling on international flights departing and arriving from the SAT-1 can take the APM. The journey time, including waiting time at the station for passengers, is about three minutes, and the APM can accommodate up to 210 passengers per train per way.
Architecture and Design
The SAT-1’s interior is largely designed to match the main terminal by accentuating architecture and art that reflect the Thai identity in harmony with modern building structures. Standing majestically in the middle of the departure hall on the third floor is a pair of metallic Himmapan elephants, the masterpieces that depict Thai artistic excellence.
In addition, the third floor of the building comes with a garden theme decorated with mythical Himmapan creatures according to ancient Thai beliefs, such as Kinnanorn (half-bird half-man), Kinnaree (half-bird half-woman), Hemaraj (lion with a swan’s or crocodile’s head) and Hongsa (swan, the vehicle of the Brahma deity). Both ends of the hall are also graced with the gilded wood and glass Busabok, the thrones on which the Buddha images of Phra Phutthapatima in the Poet-lok (open world) and Mara Wichai postures are housed.
The second floor is the area for arrival passengers designed with a walk through a garden that showcases a landscape mixed with Thai arts and culture, such as mini puppet theatres, grand shadow play, Khon masks, Thai kites, etc.
Another outstanding design work in the SAT-1 lies in the toilets inside the building that have brought the uniqueness or distinctive features of the country’s four regions and cultural traditions at their best into the construction. These toilets also function with water-saving automation.
The new terminal comes with 28 contact gate aircraft parking stands capable of accommodating 8 Code F Aircraft, such as A380 and B747-8, and 20 Code E Aircraft like B747 and A340. There are 64 passenger loading bridges, 24 of them are under Code F and 40 under Code E.
In the initial period, Thai AirAsia X and Thai Vietjet will be operating flights through SAT-1. Thai AirAsia X will operate 14 flights per day, while Thai Vietjet will have four flights a day operating through the SAT-1 terminal. Duty-free delivery counter services, duty-free shops, restaurants, and special passenger lounges will be partially open for operation.
The maiden flight to the SAT-1 on 28 September is Thai AirAsia X Flight XJ 0761 arriving from Shanghai at 10.15 Hrs.