BANGKOK (NNT) – The Airports of Thailand (AOT) is preparing to soft-launch the Satellite 1 (SAT-1) terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on September 28, following a successful trial run.
During the trial, the airport simulated a full-scale operation with 180 mock passengers and their luggage to test various systems and operations, including aircraft handling, passenger transfers, baggage handling and cargo services. The trial was supported by Thai Airways, which provided its cabin crew and aircraft for the testing process.
The soft-opening period for the SAT-1 terminal will last from September 28 to October 28, during which it will be available to three airlines: Thai AirAsia X, VietJet Air, and Emirates. The new terminal is expected to become fully operational by December 2023, aiming to alleviate congestion at the main terminal.
SAT-1 is designed to handle 15 million passengers annually, contributing to an estimated 33% increase in Suvarnabhumi Airport’s capacity, allowing it to accommodate up to 60 million passengers per year.
The SAT-1 terminal features 28 contact gates, including eight designed for Code F aircraft like the double-decker A380 superjumbo jets and 20 for Code E aircraft such as Boeing B747s. This four-story facility covers a total floor area of 216,000 square meters, with two underground floors housing the Automated People Mover (APM) train system.
The APM train system will connect SAT-1 with the existing passenger terminal, offering efficient transportation for passengers. With a maximum speed of 80 km/h, the APM can accommodate 210 passengers per train, allowing for the transport of approximately 6,000 passengers per hour, with each trip taking just three minutes.
Upon SAT-1’s full operation, international passengers will no longer require shuttle buses to reach their gates.