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New Bangkok International Airport is a very modern aviation hub that only opened to domestic and international air travel in September 2006. Today internationally renown carriers like Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways International, Thai Air Asia and Orient Thai Airlines have their base at this new airport.
Locally referred to as Savarnabhumi, Bangkok Airport is located a 25 km / 16 mile distance from central Bangkok, namely in the Samut Prakan Province. The airport’s local name was chosen by none other than King Bhumibol Adulyadej himself and is meant to reflect not only the country’s “golden past” but also the glorious Asian future.
Bangkok Airport boasts the tallest free-standing control tower anywhere in the world. With a height of 132.2 meters (434 feet) the control tower as well as the world’s 4th largest single-building terminal at an airport make the establishment a tourist attraction in its own right.
Savarnabhumi Airport is the 6th busiest air gateway in Asia and the most frequented in Thailand. Last year some 47.9 million passengers passed through the gates and the recorded aircraft movements of 299,566 leave no doubt about the popularity of this Asian aviation hub.
More than 96 airlines are based at the airport, which has a motorway connection via motorway no. 7 with the city of Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand, a heavily industrialised and built up area that is responsible for most of Thailand’s manufacturing and export revenue.
Bangkok Airport is an amazingly futuristic building with an atrium, Asian and Western cultural influences and utterly stunning architecture and design throughout. Children are not forgotten either – the Wonder World play area in the departure lounge offers little travellers the chance to let off steam in a safe environment.
There are a total of 120 parking bays for aircraft and two parallel runways as well as two parallel taxiways, making simultaneous arrivals and departures possible. A total of 8 parking bays are already capable of accommodating the new Airbus A380. Further expansion works are being carried out with the view to increasing Savarnabhumi Airport’s capacity to 65 million passengers per year.
International carrier based at Bangkok Airport include All Nippon Airways, Air Japan, Air France, Aeroflot, Air China, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Delta Airlines, Gulf Air, Finnair, KLM, Jet Airways, Kuwait Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, Lufthansa and Qantas among many others.
Passengers can choose from destinations such as Zürich, Singapore, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu, Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangalore, Auckland, Munich, Warsaw, Prague, Frankfurt, Riga, Mumbai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Lost Angeles, Madrid, Manila and Milan-Malpensa among others. Some flights are charter flights and others are just seasonal destinations such as Budapest, Yekaterinburg or Irkutsk for example.
Bangkok Airport has its own railway station. Savarnabhumi Airport railway station is situated below the main terminal building on B1 Level, which is two floors below the arrivals hall. The train station offers passengers onward rail travel via two very different train services.
The non-stop Express Line trains travel between Savarnabhumi and Makkasan at a high speed of 160 km per hour, while the City Line trains are designed for commuters, running between the airport and Phaya Thai station, calling at all the stops in between. The service operates trains every day between 6.00 am to midnight. The Express Line trains cover the distance in 15 minutes, while the City Line takes 27 minutes to cover the same distance. The best way to get to various Bangkok city destinations is to travel by City Line and hop off at Phaya Thai station, where various BTS Skytrain connections cover city locations and also other commuter train lines are available.
There are also 12 city bus routes connecting Savarnabhumi with the city of Bangkok. The airport has its own bus terminal, which is connected with the terminal via a shuttle bus. Long-distance coach services are also available from this terminal, travelling to Pattaya and Nong Khai.
There are also limousine services available at Savarnabhumi Airport, which have their own service counter on the 2nd floor of the arrivals level. These limousines charge a flat fare. Metered taxis can be found on the ground level, which is one level down from the arrivals hall.
Car rental companies stationed at Bangkok Airport include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Thai Rent a Car.