Thursday, October 26, 2006

World's Newest Airport

Last night I arrived at Suvanabhumi Airport, the new international airport for Bangkok. It replaces the old international airport at Don Muang. The design most resembles Kuala Lumpur International. However, at night, the decoration of passageways leading to Baggage Claim at Suvanabhumi give the airport a sort neo-gothic feel. The light fixtures are funky -- like something out of The Munsters. Inside and outside the main building, blue spot lighting makes the building look most beautiful at night.

There has been a lot of controvery about the airport, from corruption relating to its construction, to recent accusations since opening on September 28th 2006 that it is not user-friendly.

This video clip was taken from the Departures Level at Level 4. It begins with a view of the unbelievably cramped International Arrivals reception area on Level 2 (actually there are two international arrivals areas, I believe this one is area "B"), and finishes with a panarama of the vast Departures area.

Indeed, of the airports various design problems, most glaring is the fact that the International Arrivals reception area is far too small to accomodate the crowd of people waiting for passengers, arriving passengers, and those trying to push carts from one end of the airport to the other. To give you an idea what it feels like to push a cart past this crazy bottleneck, I made the following video (the crash noise audible towards the end of the clip is someone's cell phone falling to the ground and breaking).

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