Bangkok, Thailand – The Airports of Thailand (AOT) is gearing up for the soft launch of the highly anticipated Satellite 1 (SAT-1) terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, slated for September 28, 2023. This milestone follows a successful trial run that put the terminal’s systems and operations through rigorous testing.
During the trial phase, the airport meticulously simulated a full-scale operation, complete with 180 mock passengers and their luggage. This comprehensive testing regimen encompassed aircraft handling, passenger transfers, baggage handling, and cargo services. Notably, Thai Airways played a pivotal role in facilitating the trial by providing its cabin crew and aircraft for the rigorous testing process.
The soft-launch period for the SAT-1 terminal is scheduled to span from September 28 to October 28, during which it will be exclusively available to three prominent airlines: Thai AirAsia X, VietJet Air, and Emirates. This new facility is poised to attain full operational status by December 2023 and aims to alleviate congestion at the primary terminal of Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
SAT-1 boasts the capacity to handle a staggering 15 million passengers annually, representing a substantial 33% boost in Suvarnabhumi Airport’s overall capacity. With this enhancement, the airport will be equipped to cater to a whopping 60 million passengers per year.
Key features of the SAT-1 terminal include an impressive lineup of 28 contact gates, of which eight are specially designed to accommodate Code F aircraft, including the iconic double-decker A380 superjumbo jets, and the remaining 20 gates are designated for Code E aircraft such as Boeing B747s. This sprawling four-story facility spans a total floor area of 216,000 square meters, with two underground levels housing the Automated People Mover (APM) train system.
The APM train system is poised to be a game-changer in passenger transportation, seamlessly connecting SAT-1 with the existing passenger terminal. Operating at a maximum speed of 80 km/h, the APM can efficiently transport 210 passengers per train, translating to an impressive capacity of around 6,000 passengers per hour, with each journey taking a mere three minutes.
Upon the full operational rollout of SAT-1, international passengers will no longer rely on shuttle buses to reach their respective gates. This advancement signifies a significant improvement in the overall passenger experience at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.