Don Mueang International Airport

For the military use of the facility, see Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base.
Don Mueang International Airport
Airport type Military / Public
Owner Royal Thai Air Force
Operator Airports of Thailand PCL (AOT)
Location 222 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Khwaeng Sanam Bin, Khet Don Mueang, Bangkok, Thailand
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 9 ft / 3 m
Coordinates 13°54′45″N 100°36′24″E / 13.91250°N 100.60667°E / 13.91250; 100.60667Coordinates: 13°54′45″N 100°36′24″E / 13.91250°N 100.60667°E / 13.91250; 100.60667

Location of airport in Bangkok

Direction Length Surface
m ft
03L/21R 3,700 12,139 Asphalt
03R/21L 3,500 11,483 Asphalt
Statistics (FY2015)
Total passengers 30,304,183
International passengers 9,170,681
Domestic passengers 21,133,502
Aircraft movements 224,074
Freight (tonnes) 45,488
Source: Airports of Thailand[1] & BangkokPost[2]

Don Mueang International Airport (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานดอนเมือง, IPA: [dɔ̄ːn.mɯ̄ːaŋ], or colloquially as Thai: สนามบินดอนเมือง, IPA: [sà.nǎːm.bīn.dɔ̄ːn.mɯ̄ːaŋ]) (IATA: DMK, ICAO: VTBD) (or also [old] Bangkok International Airport) is one of two international airports serving Greater Bangkok, the other one being Suvarnabhumi Airport ([New] Bangkok International Airport) (BKK). The airport is considered to be one of the world's oldest international airports and Asia's oldest operating airport.[3] It was officially opened as a Royal Thai Air Force base on 27 March 1914, although it had been in use earlier. Commercial flights began in 1924, making it one of the world's oldest commercial airports. The first commercial flight was an arrival by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.[4] Don Mueang Airport closed in 2006 following the opening of Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport, before reopening on 24 March 2007 after renovations. Since the opening of the new airport, it has become a regional commuter flight hub and the de facto low-cost airline hub. In 2015, it became the world's largest low cost carrier airport[5]

Don Mueang was an important hub of Asia and the hub of Thai Airways International prior to its closure. At its peak, it served most air traffic for the entire country, with 80 airlines operating 160,000 flights and handling over 38 million passengers and 700,000 tons of cargo in 2004. It was then the 14th busiest airport in the world and 2nd in Asia by passenger volume. Currently, Don Mueang is the main hub for Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, and Orient Thai Airlines.


Early years

FAA diagram

"Don Mueang" airfield was the second established in Thailand, after Sa Pathum airfield, which is now Sa Pathum horse racing course, known as the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The first flights to Don Mueang were made on 8 March 1914 and involved the transfer of aircraft of the Royal Thai Air Force. Three years earlier, Thailand had sent three army officers to France to train as pilots. On completion of their training in 1911, the pilots were authorized to purchase eight aircraft, four Breguets and four Nieuports, which formed the basis of the Royal Thai Air Force. Sa Pathum airfield was established in February 1911 with an arrival by Orville Wright, seven years after the invention of the first airplane by the Wright brothers on 17 December 1903.[6]

In 1933, the airfield was the scene of heavy fighting between royalists and government forces during the Boworadet Rebellion. The airfield was used by the occupying Japanese during World War II, and was bombed and strafed by Allied aircraft on several occasions.

After the war had finished in September 1945 the airfield was occupied the RAF during the brief British occupation of Thailand until March 1946.

During the Vietnam War, Don Mueang was a major command and logistics hub of the United States Air Force.

Before the opening of Suvarnabhumi, the airport used the IATA airport code BKK and the name was spelled "Don Muang". After Suvarnabhumi opened for commercial flights, the spelling was changed and as "Don Mueang" it now uses the airport code DMK, though it still retains the ICAO airport code VTBD. The traditional spelling is still used by many airlines and by most Thais.


The night of 27–28 September 2006 was the official end of operations at Don Mueang airport. The last commercial flights were:


Commercial carriers deserted Don Mueang at the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport. But the higher operating costs of the new airport and safety concerns over cracked runways at the new airport caused many to seek a return to Don Mueang. Low-cost airlines led demands for a reopening of the airport. Airports of Thailand released a report at the end of 2006 which furthered this effort. The report proposed reopening DMK as a way to avoid or delay second-stage expansion which had been planned for Suvarnabhumi.[10]

On 30 January 2007, the Ministry of Transport recommended temporarily reopening Don Mueang while touch up work proceeded on some taxiways at Suvarnabhumi. The recommendation was subject to approval by the Thai cabinet. On 25 March 2007, the airport officially reopened for some domestic flights.

Because of the 2011 Thailand floods that affected Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, the airport was closed as flood waters flowed onto the runways and affected the lighting.[11][12] Don Mueang reopened on 6 March 2012.

On 16 March 2012, the Government of Thailand and Prime Minister Yingluck ordered all low-cost, chartered, and non-connecting flights to relocate to Don Mueang. This ended the single-airport policy.[13] Airports of Thailand was ordered to encourage low-cost carriers to shift to Don Mueang to help ease congestion at Suvarnabhumi Airport.[14][15] Suvarnabhumi airport was designed to handle 45 million passengers per year,[14] but it processed 48 million in 2011 and number is expected to reach 53 million in 2012. Some ten airlines may relocate to Don Mueang. Budget airline Nok Air is already serving flights from and to Don Mueang. Nok Air handles about four million passengers per year. Orient Thai Airlines and Thai AirAsia have also started operations at Don Mueang. Thai AirAsia carried 7.2 million passengers in 2011. The number is projected to grow to eight million in 2012.[16]

Currently Terminal 1 is capable of handling 18.5 million passengers annually.[17] On 7 September 2013, Airports of Thailand announced its three billion baht renovation to reopen Terminal 2 as early as May 2014. Terminal 1's passengers in 2013 will likely reach 16 million against its capacity of 18.5 million. Completion of Terminal 2 in Dec 2015 increases Don Mueang's passenger capacity to 30 million a year.[18]

A third phase of Don Mueang's expansion plans stretches from 2017 to 2025. It aims to increase the airport's passenger capacity to 40 million per year from its current 30 million, and increase the number of flights accommodated from 40 per hour to 50 per hour.[19]


Don Mueang International Airport has two terminals. Terminal 1 is used for international flights and Terminal 2 for domestic flights. The opening of Terminal 2 has raised the airport's capacity to 30 million passengers per year.[20]

Airlines and destinations

A Nok Air Boeing 737-800 at the gate.
AirAsia Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur–International 1
Indonesia AirAsia Denpasar, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Medan 1
Kan Air Chiang Mai 2
Maldivian Chengdu, Malé 1
Malindo Air Kuala Lumpur–International 1
New Gen Airways Changsha, Fuzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Hefei, Nanchang, Nanning 1
Nok Air Hanoi, Hefei, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon
Seasonal: Nanjing
Nok Air Buriram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chumphon, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Lampang, Loei, Mae Sot, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Phuket, Ranong, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Surat Thani, Trang, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani 2
NokScoot Chongqing, Dalian, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tianjin
Seasonal charter: Tokyo–Narita
Orient Thai Airlines Guangzhou, Hong Kong 1
Orient Thai Airlines Phuket 2
R Airlines Macau 1
R Airlines Chiang Mai 2
Scoot Osaka–Kansai, Singapore, Tokyo–Narita 1
Siam Air Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Zhengzhou 1
Thai AirAsia Bangalore, Changsha, Chennai, Chongqing, Denpasar, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Kochi, Kolkata (begins 16 December 2016),[21] Kuala Lumpur–International, Kunming, Luang Prabang, Macau, Mandalay, Penang, Phnom Penh, Shantou, Shenzhen, Siem Reap, Singapore, Vientiane, Wuhan, Xi'an, Yangon
Charter: Gaya, Ningbo, Wenzhou
Thai AirAsia Buriram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Loei, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Phitsanulok, Phuket, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Surat Thani, Trang, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani 2
Thai AirAsia X Muscat, Osaka–Kansai, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Tehran–Imam Khomeini , Tokyo–Narita
Charter: Shenyang
Thai Lion Air Guangzhou ,[22] Ho Chi Minh City ,[23] Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Singapore, Yangon
Charter: Chongqing, Jinan, Nanjing, Taiyuan
Thai Lion Air Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani 2
Thai Smile Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Phuket 2
Tigerair Taiwan Taipei–Taoyuan 1

Traffic statistics

Thai Airways aircraft at the airport before their relocation to Suvarnabhumi Airport
Main hall of Terminal 1

Total passenger traffic through Don Mueang jumped 40.7 percent to 30.3 million in 2015, with international numbers rising 53.1 percent to 9.17 million and domestic passengers increasing 35.9 percent to 21.1 million. Aircraft movements rose by 29.8 percent to 224,074, including 158,804 domestic (up 26.2 percent) and 65,270 international (up 39.3 percent).[24]

Calendar year Passengers Change from the previous Movements Cargo
2008 5,043,235
2009 2,466,997 Decrease51.1%
2010 2,999,867 Increase21.6%
2011 3,424,915 Increase14.2% 51,301
2012 5,983,141 Increase74.7% 65,120 7,329
2013 16,479,227 Increase472.70% 154,827 25,657
2014[25] 21,546,568 Increase30.75% 172,681 29,086
2015[26] 30,304,183 Increase29.76% 224,074 45,488
Source: Airports of Thailand PLC
Year Domestic International Total Change%
2008 5,043,235 5,043,235 Increase 0.46
2009 2,466,997 2,466,997 Decrease 51.1%
2010 2,999,867 2,999,867 Increase 21.6%
2011 3,424,915 3,424,915 Increase 14.2%
2012 5,983,141 Increase 74.7%
2013 11,190,783 5,288,444 16,479,227 Increase 472.70%
2014 15,556,627 5,989,941 21,546,568 Increase 30.75%
2015 21,133,502 9,170,681 30,304,183 Increase 29.76%

Busiest domestic routes 2015

Busiest domestic routes to and from Don Mueang Airport 2015
Rank Airport Passengers Handled 2015 %Change
1 Chiang Mai 3,535,276Increase 24.65%
2 Hatyai 2,670,877Increase15.68%
3 Phuket 2,649,355Increase33.54%
4 Udon Thani 1,480,843Increase39.92%
5 Surat Thani 1,446,830Increase37.21%
6 Krabi 1,274,234Increase41.18%
7 Chiang Rai 1,257,244Increase33.80%
8 Ubon Ratchathani 1,236,356Increase34.53%
9 NakhonSithamarat 1,102,035Increase13.27%
10 Khon Kaen 951,770Increase79.63%

Busiest international routes 2015

Busiest international routes to and from Don Mueang Airport 2015[27]
Rank Airport Passengers 2015 % Change
1 Kuala Lumpur 1,238,591 Increase24.77%
2 Singapore 935,381Increase43.65%
3 Yangon 561,440Increase21.38%
4 Hong Kong 496,095Increase48.87%
5 Tokyo-Narita 389,834Increase236.91%
6 Macau 348,700Increase4.73%
7 Chongqing 309,939Increase22.49%
8 Nanjing 288,538Increase134.35%
9 Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta 282,428Increase13.57%
10 Ho Chi Minh City 280,843Increase19.55%

Other facilities

Accidents and incidents



  1. (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "Midnight Initiation for Suvarnabhumi". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  5. "Bangkok Don Mueang becomes world's largest LCC airport, overtaking KLIA, Barcelona & Las Vegas". Centre for Aviation. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  7. "Exporters pan new export fees". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  8. "Qantas steals show at last minute", Bangkok Post, 29 September 2006
  9. ATW: LH Cargo set to be first into Suvarnabhumi
  10. "In With the Old", Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1 Jan 2007.
  11. Don Muang Airport (DMK) Bangkok Thailand | Don Muang Airport Guide. Retrieved on 25 Aug 2013.
  12. "Thai floods: Bangkok Don Muang airport suspends flights". BBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  13. "Low-cost carriers start launching from Don Mueang". The Nation. Bangkok. 1 Oct 2012. Retrieved 15 Oct 2012.
  14. 1 2 Thongrung, Watcharapong; Amnartchareonrit, Bamrung (16 Mar 2012). "Budget airlines to fly from Don Mueang". The Nation. Bangkok. Retrieved 15 Oct 2012.
  15. Mahitthirook, Amornrat; Kositchotethana, Boonsong (21 Jun 2012). "Airlines get big discounts for move to Don Mueang". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 10 Nov 2012.
  16. Pinijparakarn, Sucheera (23 May 2012). "IPO of Asia Aviation is expected to raise Bt4.5 bn". The Nation. Bangkok. Retrieved 15 Oct 2012.
  17. Amnartchareonrit, Bamrung (18 Aug 2012). "Don Mueang will be ready on time, AOT says". The Nation. Bangkok. Retrieved 15 Oct 2012.
  19. "PM toughens zero-dollar purge". Bangkok Post. 26 November 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  20. Intharagsa, Rachanon (2015-12-24). "Busy traffic at Don Mueang's Terminal 2". The Nation. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  21. "Thai AirAsia spreads wings to Kolkata". traveldailymedia. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  24. Kositchotethana, Boonsong (2016-02-01). "AoT airports set new record in passenger traffic". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  27. Home page. Siam Air. Retrieved on October 26, 2016. "CONTACT INFO Address : Siam Air Transport Co.,Ltd. 222 Room 2323 P Vibhavadi – Rangsit Road Donmueang International Airport, Donmueang, Bangkok, Thailand 10210"
  28. "Headquarter." [sic] R Airlines. Retrieved on 27 January 2013.
  29. "About Solar Air". Solar Air. Retrieved 6 October 2016. "222 Room 3251 Don Muang Airport Moo10 Viphavadi-Rangsit Rd, Sanambin, Don Muang, Bangkok 10210 "
  30. "14 JUN 1972 Douglas DC-8-53 Japan Air Lines – JAL." Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 March 2009.
  31. "Death Toll in Air Disasters Heavy." United Press International via Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. Thursday 15 June 1972. Retrieved on 23 March 2009.
  32. "L2-41/15/210 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 June 2010.


External links

Media related to Don Muang International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
Don Muang Airport travel guide from Wikivoyage

  1. Suvarnabhumi – latest news. Important. – Page 3 – FlyerTalk Forums. (20 July 2006). Retrieved on 25 August 2013.
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