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Friday, December 28, 2007

Suvarnabhumi residents to petition UN

Airports of Thailand's Chiang Mai office is investigating a complaint from German businessman Rainer Gassenschmidt about broken and dislodged roof tiles on his house he said were caused by Thai Airways International flight TG 110 flying too low on Dec 12.

Irate residents affected by aircraft noise around Suvarnabhumi airport say they plan to petition the United Nations next Thursday.

They say there has been no progress in implementing the plan agreed by the government and the tripartite committee to compensate and assist them.

Wanchat Manathamsombat, the residents' leader, said they want the world community to know about their ordeal and how they have been neglected by the government.

Mr Wanchat said the residents decided they would petition the UN after the New Year when the cabinet failed to consider assistance earlier this week.

This showed the Transport Ministry and the other agencies were not sincere in their promises.

Transport Ministry officials had told the residents to wait for the next cabinet meeting on Jan 3, Mr Wanchat said.

Deputy Transport Minister Sansern Wongcha-um said the ministry would put its plan to assist aircraft-noise affected residents to the economic ministers' screening committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Kosit Panpiemras.

If the committee approved the plan, it would be presented to the cabinet for approval.

Details needing cabinet approval include zones affected by aircraft noise, entitlements of residents who moved in after airport construction began in 2001, and compensation criteria.

Transport permanent secretary Chaisa-wat Kittipornpaibul said after a meeting with residents' representatives that problems with documents and procedures had prevented officials from buying houses and paying compensation.

For this reason, residents were being asked to wait for a while, as negotiations on compensation were time consuming.

A source in the Transport Ministry said it expected the residents to eventually file complaints with the Administrative Court, which is one of the options that would help to quickly end the compensation dispute.

Residents of Chiang Mai's Mae Hia district, home to the city's airport, already plan to petition the Administrative Court to order compensation for the damage caused to their roofs by aircraft noise.

The residents claim Thai Airways International flight TG 110 flew too low over their houses on Dec 12 and the vibrations from the plane damaged their rooftops.

German businessman Rainer Gassenschmidt and his wife Supaporn have filed a complaint with the Chiang Mai office of Airports of Thailand office on behalf of residents of Nimmannoradee housing estate, which is under the airport flight path.

Mrs Supaporn said the complaint was lodged a fortnight ago, but they have still to receive any response from AoT.

Source : Bangkokpost

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