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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2nd phase expansion of Suvarnabhumi airport starts soon

BANGKOK, April 16 (TNA) - Amid sharp increases in the number of passengers and airlines using the Thai capital's Suvarnabhumi airport, concerned authorities are now ready to implement the second phase of construction to enlarge the airport, a senior Airports of Thailand (AoT) official said Wednesday.

Somchai Sawasdipol, chairman of a working committee responsible for solving noise pollution at Suvarnabhumi airport, located in Bangkok's neighbouring province of Samut Prakan, said more than 42 million passengers used facilities at the airport in 2007 while its full capacity is at 45 million.

There is a need to expand the airport to cater to the rising demands of passengers and airlines, said Mr. Somchai. AoT will speed solving noise pollution at the airport and prepare for the phase 2 construction.

Designs for the taxiway for phase 2 are now prepared while a public hearing noise pollution from people living near the airport will be held before the construction begins, he said.

The AoT committee is expected to discuss on the noise pollution issue during its next meeting, Mr. Somchai said.

He said that there is an aviation law in Thailand which forbids both building construction and trees within seven kilometres of an airport, but it has not been respected, causing the AoT to pay a large amount of money as compensation to people living near airports in the past.

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