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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dispute with contractor delays revenue tracking plan

The conflict between Airports of Thailand (AoT) and King Power is delaying the agency's plan to electronically trace the revenue of shops at Suvarnabhumi airport, which will enable the accurate sharing of income between the two parties. The problem was reported to Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen and his deputy Sansern Wongcha-um yesterday when they inspected the Airport Information Management System (Aims) at Suvarnabhumi.

AoT had originally intended to connect Aims to the databases of all shops in the passenger terminal.

The system would allow the airport to keep a record of the income of duty-free shops and other commercial operations, which would ensure that AoT receives its 15% share of any income as stipulated in the contract for commercial operations at the airport.

However, according to an AoT source, the previous board chaired by Srisook Chandrangsu excluded the Aims connection requirement from King Power contracts. AoT later tried to convince King Power to sign up to the system, but the attempt was shelved following legal disputes over King Power's contracts to operate at the airport.

The present AoT board nullified King Power's contracts, a decision which King Power is challenging in court. AoT accused King Power of evading scrutiny under the Public-Private Joint Venture Act in acquiring the right to operate the commercial space.

Acting AoT president Kulya Pakakrong said the point-of-sale income recognition system would be installed at Don Mueang and regional airports first.

The Aims system at Suvarnabhumi was still not ready for implementation.

Mr Sansern said although the hardware and software were ready, AoT had yet to install data relating to its managerial system into Aims, or train staff to run it.

Suvarnabhumi airport director Serirat Prasutanont said AoT had yet to load data concerning the assets of Suvarnabhumi airport into Aims because it was busy with its own reorganisation.

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