Suvarnabhumi Airport is all set to unveil its new SAT-1 satellite terminal, marking a significant expansion of its passenger capacity from 45 million to 60 million annually.
The SAT-1 terminal plays a pivotal role in the airport’s phase-two development plan, aimed at enhancing its ability to handle the growing influx of passengers and air traffic. The terminal has undergone rigorous testing, including trial operations conducted during both days and night to ensure its readiness for the grand opening on late September 2023.
The new terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport, spanning 251,400 square meters indoors and boasting an apron area of over 260,000 square meters, is a four-storey structure with two basements.
The B2 level houses the Automated People Mover (APM) Station, while the B1 level serves as the systems control room. On the G level, you’ll find the Baggage Handling System (BHS) and various offices.
Level 2 is dedicated to arriving passengers and those in transit, while Level 3 serves as the departure area with an open-gate style layout, offering waiting areas and shops along the hallway. Level 4 is reserved for passenger lounges, airline lounges, and additional facilities.
The SAT-1 terminal is seamlessly connected to the main terminal via an underground tunnel spanning approximately one kilometer. This tunnel facilitates the operation of the APM system, the BHS, and two airside service roads.
Passengers traveling on international flights arriving and departing from SAT-1 can take advantage of the APM, an unmanned electric vehicle with rubber wheels designed exclusively for passenger transport. The journey takes about three minutes, including waiting time at the station, and each APM can accommodate up to 210 passengers per trip.
The interior of SAT-1 is designed to complement the main terminal, featuring architecture and art that reflects Thailand’s cultural identity while harmonizing with modern building structures. Notable interior features include a pair of metallic Himmapan elephants standing majestically in the departure hall, mythical Himmapan creatures, and gilded wood and glass Busabok thrones.
The second floor, dedicated to arriving passengers, offers a garden-themed space that showcases a blend of Thai arts and culture, including mini puppet theaters, grand shadow plays, Khon masks, Thai kites, and more.
An exceptional design aspect of SAT-1 lies in its unique toilets, which highlight the distinctive features of Thailand’s four regions and cultural traditions while incorporating water-saving automation.
The new terminal boasts 28 contact gate aircraft parking stands, capable of accommodating 8 Code F Aircraft like A380 and B747-8, as well as 20 Code E Aircraft including B747 and A340. Among the terminal’s facilities are 64 passenger loading bridges, with 24 classified under Code F and 40 under Code E.
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During the initial phase, Thai AirAsia X and Thai Vietjet will operate flights from SAT-1. Thai AirAsia X will offer 14 daily flights, while Thai Vietjet will provide four daily flights. Duty-free delivery counters, duty-free shops, restaurants, and special passenger lounges will be partially operational.
The inaugural flight to SAT-1 on September 28 will be Thai AirAsia X Flight XJ 0761 arriving from Shanghai at 10:15 AM.
Opened in 2006, Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main international airport serving Bangkok, Thailand. It covers an area of 3,240 hectares (32.4 km²; 8,000 acres), making it one of the largest international airports in Southeast Asia and a regional aviation hub.
According to the Skytrax survey, Suvarnabhumi Airport has received a 3-star rating for its facilities, comfort, cleanliness, shopping, food & beverages, and staff service. However, due to its expansive layout, passengers often face long walking distances for departures, arrivals, and transfers. Fast-track channels for security and immigration are frequently congested, diminishing the overall passenger experience.
With the launch of the SAT-1 Satellite Terminal, passengers are anticipating an improved experience at Suvarnabhumi Airport.