World class airport with no air-conditioning?

External view of Suvarnabhumi airport.
After a long construction period of 44 years, the Suvarnabhumi airport will start operating on 28th September 2006, replacing the 60 year old Don Muang airport. Some interesting facts of this fascinating airport are as follows:

Design architecture:

This airport costs 3.7 billion USD to construct, with a unique “camping tent” design. The 7-storey building has only one passenger hall and the first 2 levels are both underground. The airport has 2 parallel runways (60 m. wide, 4,000 m. and 3700 m. long) and 2 parallel taxiways to accommodate simultaneous departures and arrivals. It has a total of 120 parking bays (51 with contact gates and 69 remote gates) and 5 of these are capable of accommodating the Airbus A380 aircraft.

Internal view of Suvarnabhumi airport.
Airport with no air-conditioning:

Surprisingly, the Suvarnabhumi airport has no air-conditioning! However, it does use a green and environment friendly “co-generation plant” system – using cold water to flow through the ground for each and every floor and then directing the resulting cold air to above 2.5 metre above the ground, hence keeping the air temperature 21-24◦C. How innovative! But it may be difficult to maintain this temperature when a large number of passengers arrive at the airport in the near future.

Transportation System:

Suvarnabhumi airport is 25 km away from Bangkok city. In order to provide passengers with a faster router to the city, the Thailand government has plans to complete the construction of an underground a sky train system that links to the city area within one and a half year period. By then, it will only take 15 minutes to travel from the airport to Bangkok’s city area.

For more information or a video of the new airport, please click on the New Bangkok Airport Guide link.

Link: New Bangkok Airport Guide & Lian He Zao Bao
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Anonymous said…
I think they're going to have condensation problems. Isn't it very humid there? Most modern A/C's dessicate the air as they cool and dump waste water into the environment.
Sompop S. said…
Actually, the train will be sky train not underground train.
Spluch said…
Many thanks to sompop s. for pointing out the error
Anonymous said…
I beg to differ on the air conditioning issue, they have floor mounted air conditioning units scttered all over the terminal building, it may also have the under floor system as well. And you are right that the system is struggling to cope it is very warm inside the terminal but not unpleasantly so, and there are a lot of people just going out to look at the airport at the moment so this is probably adding to the load.
Anonymous said…
Air-conditioning issue: actually what you saw are not air-conditioning units. They are little pumps that pumped up the water (that runs underneath the floors) to itself and sprayed it out into the atmosphere using fans in it. Therefore, no air-conditioning!