Thai cabinet approves Bangkok airport expansion

BANGKOK, Aug 24, 2010 (AFP) - The Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved a two-billion-dollar expansion plan for Bangkok's main airport, Transport Minister Sopon Zarum said.

The six-year project to construct new facilities, including more aircraft parking stands, is expected to boost capacity at Suvarnabhumi Airport to 60 million passengers a year, up from 45 million at present.

The transport ministry has shelved a plan to construct a third runway because an assessment of the environmental impact was deemed necessary and two runways are still believed to be sufficient to handle flights.

Suvarnabhumi was opened in September 2006 to replace the decades-old Don Mueang airport as the capital's main air hub.

Sopon said there was no plan to shut Don Mueang, which now handles some domestic and charter flights.

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