Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which opened only six years ago on what amounted to a swamp, is approaching a crisis stage with overcrowding and increasingly impaired runways, travelers and officials say. Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Architects of Chicago, the airport was in trouble the day it opened, 25 km east of Bangkok, and has rarely been out of trouble. Its construction was widely believed to have been riddled with corruption and mismanagement. The terminal had to be reconfigured shortly after it opened, with offices having to be closed so the space could be converted into toilets. The facility was designed with a capacity of 45 million passengers when it was opened in September 2006, a year late at that point. It now handles 51 million passengers a year as Thailand’s tourism industry booms.
Subscribe to Asia Sentinel to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.