Email This  Print This 


AOT to develop Bt10-billion site

BackAug 22, 2007

Airports of Thailand (AOT) plans to develop 1,000 rai of vacant land at Suvarnabhumi Airport into a commercial complex containing a three-star hotel, exhibition hall and shops.

The Bt10-billion site is located in the airport's northeastern corner, close to the transportation terminal and some petrol stations.

Construction is expected to start early next year on the 300-room hotel and the exhibition hall next to it, Narongchai Tanadchang-saeng, deputy general manager for business development, said yesterday.

The retail area will consist of local-product shops, restaurants, spa and massage facilities and a food court. A golf course is also on the drawing board.

"The company's directors are discussing the project and expect to approve it soon," said Narongchai, adding that the total investment needed depended on negotiations with outside investors.

"The company is interested in investing in the project itself, but we're also considering allowing investors to do so," he said.

The company is seeking extra sources of income following an 82-per-cent drop in its April-June net profit - to Bt331.3 million, from Bt2.09 billion last year - due to higher operating expenses and corporate income taxes. Its revenues now come mainly from aircraft landing fees, parking fees and rents.

"The company is building more business channels, in order to earn more money," he said.

Another channel will be outdoor advertising signs around the airport, with installation starting next year. This is projected to contribute at least Bt100 million a year.

"This is another part of new investment in the coming year," he said.

Suvarnabhumi Airport general manager Serirat Prasutanond said the airport was getting ready to step into its second year of operation by fixing all of the problems that came under heavy criticism in its first year.

It has already served 35 million passengers in its first 11 months and expects to reach 40 million by the end of the year.

AOT said Suvarnabhumi was poised to become one of the top 20 airports in the world next year and enter the top 10 in 2009.

"We plan to get the ranking based on the results of a customer-satisfaction survey under Airport Service Quality, a project of the Airport Council International, an international airport organisation," he said.

Teams have been set up to improve six key areas for the ranking: security-management system, airport facilities and services, collaboration with airlines and government bodies, commercial airport-property management, service-mindedness and airport environment.


Source: The Nation by Suchat Sritama
Wednesday August 22, 2007