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Thursday, October 4, 2007

New AoT chief Chana to be paid less

Has to put new airport among world's top 10

The new Airports of Thailand (AoT) president is being offered lower pay than his predecessor and will have some tough goals to meet, including making Suvarnabhumi one of the world's top-10 airports in six months. According to an AoT source, AoT's remuneration committee discussed a package with Chana Yusathaporn for over an hour on Tuesday.

The panel offered a monthly salary of 550,000 baht to Air Marshal Chana, who was promoted on Oct 1 and is now deputy commander of the air combat command.

However, his salary after taxes would be 385,000 baht.

By comparison, the salary of previous AoT president Chotisak Asapaviriya was 700,000 baht, or 490,000 baht after a 30% income tax deduction.

Apart from the salary, AoT proposes AM Chana have a monthly entertainment allowance of 20,000 baht and a phone use allowance of 5,000 baht a month.

The AoT will also prohibit him from hiring an adviser because Mr Chotisak hired many advisers during his term, giving them very generous pay.

AM Chana was selected the new AoT president after beating other candidates in an open application contest last week. He was promoted to air marshal at the beginning of the month.

Seen as the toughest challenge for the new AoT president is making Suvarnabhumi one of the world's top-10 airports within six months. How well he fulfils that condition will go towards his evaluation.

The source said it would be an uphill task pushing Suvarnabhumi up the world airport rankings in such a short time. The airport has been riddled with operational and infrastructure problems.

The AoT board will meet today and it is expected it will try to iron out conditions to be set out in AM Chana's contract. The board may have to decide if it still requires the new president to realise the airport's top ranking ambition.

If talks with AM Chana over the contract fail, AoT may have to invite the runner-up candidate, Paolo Hospital executive Chanin Yensudjai, for negotiations over the top post.

AoT board member Chirmsak Pinthong, who is on the AoT remuneration committee, said yesterday the package for AM Chana was still negotiable.

If AM Chana agreed to sign the contract, his committee would seek approval from the AoT board of directors and the Finance Ministry, the major shareholder of AoT, to sign a contract with him.

Today, the AoT board will also be informed of the AoT's negotiations with the Loxley-ICTS consortium where AoT wants to shorten the contractor's airport security service contract at Suvarnabhumi from 10 to three years.

AoT views the quality of the airport security service provided by the firm as being sub-standard.

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