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Friday, October 5, 2007

SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT SECURITY WOES

AoT decides to halve Loxley-ICTS contract to five years


The Airports of Thailand (AoT) board has decided to halve the term of its security service contract at Suvarnabhumi airport with the Loxley-ICTS consortium to five years, saying the service is sub-standard. The board in July rejected its management's proposal to shorten the contract to avoid legal troubles.

AoT board member and spokesman Chirmsak Pinthong said the board had ordered AoT management to halve the contractual term from its original 10 years.


The contract, effective on Sept 26 last year, would then expire on Sept 26, 2011.


He said the Loxley-ICTS consortium's security service was deemed to be below the required standard.


Once the shortened contract ends, the AoT would itself take responsibility for the security service at Suvarnabhumi.


Mr Chirmsak earlier said the consortium provided only 1,200 guards a day, which was short of the 2,000 set down in the contract.


If the consortium raised objections to the decision, the AoT should consider terminating the contract right away.


The AoT would regularly evaluate the quality of the consortium's service. If it failed to meet requirements, AoT would push for termination of the contract.


In the meantime, AoT is accelerating the payment of five overdue contract payments totalling 225 million baht to the consortium.


Karn Thongyai, managing director of Asia Security Management Co, part of the consortium, declined to comment, saying he would wait for the written confirmation from AoT.


He insisted that the consortium complied with contractual requirements and had adjusted its service to meet the AoT's demands.


Mr Chirmsak also said the AoT had yet to discuss salary and conditions with AM Chana U. Sathaporn , deputy commander of the air combat command, who won the job of new AoT president.


The minimum salary should stand at 400,000 baht a month, he said.


According to an AoT source, the board yesterday agreed to drop some proposed conditions for the new president. They included the requirement he make Suvarnabhumi one of the world's top-10 airports within six months and hand any income from outside lecturing over to the AoT.


Mr Chirmsak, a member of the AoT remuneration committee, said those conditions had been set in the past to prevent problems and protect the AoT's interests. He admitted they were negotiable.


Board member Tortrakul Yomanak said Suvarnabhumi airport was ranked the fourth best airport worldwide by Smart Travel Asia, an online magazine based in Hong Kong.


The ranking came from an internet poll by the magazine's website www.smarttravelasia.com. There were about 2,000 votes cast, he said.


Top place went to Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport, followed by Singapore's Changi airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Koh Samui ranked 8th

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