Engineers Australia

Suvarnhabhumi Airport – from Cobra Swamp to Golden Land

Stephen Buttling

Planning for a new international airport at Nong Ngu Hao (Cobra Swamp) was on and off since the 1970s. Finally action started in about 1993 with site clearance, some perimeter bund walls, and design of ground improvement for airport pavements. Stephen Buttling was involved with this, and also with an unsuccessful bid to design the Passenger Terminal Complex by Sir Norman Foster. From late 2001 he was full time on site until the end of April 2006, less than 6 months before opening. During this period he oversaw the piling contract for the Passenger Terminal Complex, comprising 26,000 piles, and the D&C of the underground train station for the Airport Rail Link. He also hosted numerous visits by English speaking groups such as the British Chamber of Commerce or the American Chamber of Commerce.

This highly illustrated talk will cover many aspects of building an international airport on a greenfield site, including some airport planning, architectural features, erection of special steel structures, interior decoration, pavements, and problems, as well as some geotechnical bits.

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.