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Old September 12th, 2006, 02:34 PM   #701
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Old September 12th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #702
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look like hotel .. hehe passenger terminal look so cool
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Old September 12th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #703
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Old September 12th, 2006, 03:03 PM   #704
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Old September 12th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #705
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Old September 12th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #706
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Old September 12th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #707
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It looks a little 'sterile' there, but I guess that'll change as passengers fill up the place and more facilities and shops are added.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 05:16 PM   #708
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Suvarnabhumi Takes Off -- Ready To Fly
By Phoowadon Duangmee in Bangkok

The Nation
Publication Date : 2006-09-08




Suvarnabhumi International Airport is huge, gorgeous and nice to Mother Nature. It’s going to be a bummer getting a taxi, though

With long runways stretching from north to south, a cluster of terminal buildings, a tall control tower and giant tubes of concourse topped with a strange roof, Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi International Airport looks, at first glance, rather like an alien space station.

Thirty kilometres east of Bangkok, the long-awaited airport that will open for commercial flights this month is already a hot destination.

According to Airports of Thailand, more than 300,000 people have already visited Suvarnabhumi, curious to see it.

The airport is accessible by five routes from downtown Bangkok. From the suburbs of Bang Na, you go down Bangna-Trat Road, then turn left onto a newly built four-lane road.

At the southern entrance, you pass long-term parking and the catering and airline offices, and turn left again to the terminal. It takes just 30 minutes from Bang Na.

Suvarnabhumi was designed by Helmut Jahn, the German architect also responsible for the United Airlines terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and the Sony Centre in Berlin.

To get a sense of Jahn’s design for Suvarnabhumi, think of a huge “H” on the ground.

The two vertical legs of the H are the parallel runways, each 60m wide, one 4,000m long and the other 3,700. The crossbar is home to the passenger terminal complex, parking lots and airport hotel.

Unlike the tired-looking Don Muang airport, Suvarnabhumi has a single terminal, with both domestic and international travellers passing through the seven-storey complex.

Departures is on the fourth floor and easy to access from either of the two multi-storey car parks.

“As at Don Muang, you can drop departing passengers at the platform and then go to the car park. The system also applies to arrivals,” says a public relations officer.

While Jahn’s modern design has led to complaints that there is nothing Thai about the new airport, Suvarnabhumi has what’s needed: transparency and environmental friendliness.

The extensive use of glass in the passenger terminal is an energy-saver and, with light streaming in from all directions, including the roof, there’s a tremendous feeling a space—and a terrific view of the sky.

The typical central air conditioning hidden behind the ceiling has been replaced by an energy-efficient system.

“Cold-water pipes run underneath the floor and fans lift the cold air upwards,” explains an airport guide, adding that the cold water is a by-product of the electricity plant.

Check-in Rows A to G run from the east wing to the west, offering passengers 360 counters.

For those who prefer to travel light, 100 are for flyers with no luggage.

After passport and ID control, domestic passengers go straight to the transit concourse building where there are plenty of shops and kiosks selling drinks, magazines and souvenirs.
International passengers head the other way, to Concourse Building D, where there are a wide variety of duty-free shops.

Arriving passengers approach the passenger terminal via the second floor.

“There are 145 counters for passport control,” says the PR man. “There are 17 conveyor belts for international passengers, five more for domestic, and one specially designed for larger aircraft like the A380.”

Once baggage has been collected and customs cleared, passengers can go to the third-floor meeting points, restaurants and airline lounges. From there they can catch a shuttle bus to the taxi stand some six kilometres away.

This is a major change for Bangkok flyers. Taxi drivers are not allowed to wait outside. Those dropping passengers off must leave the terminal immediately.

However, limousines can be called in, and private cars can wait on the second level. Tourists arriving in groups have to walk down to the first floor to their buses and coaches.

While the transport system is likely to cause some grumbling, Suvarnabhumi Airport offers passengers a far more efficient service in an attractive environment.

And Jahn’s futuristic design leaves enough space for some Thai touches.

The walls of the paths leading to the concourse are hung with works by Thai artists, and 12 mythical demons stand in the arrival hall.

“They are duplicates of the 12 demons at Temple of the Emerald Buddha,” explains the PR officer.

For looks, Suvarnabhumi is second to none. As for space, the passenger terminal has claimed a world record for the largest user area. And, yes, the control tower is the world’s tallest.




Suvarnabhumi Takes Off -- The Big Move
By Suchat Sritama in Bangkok

The Nation
Publication Date : 2006-09-08




Some budget carriers may switch to the new Suvarnabhumi Airport early

All local and international airlines have announced they are ready to relocate to the new Suvarnabhumi Airport on the official opening date of Sept 28, 2006 while three budget carriers—keen to avoid road congestion caused by the transfer of equipment—have opted to move their fleets up to three days ahead of schedule.

In a meeting held by airline operators recently to discuss their readiness to make the move, Air France said it would be ready to divert its aircraft to Suvarnabhumi on Sept 28.

Contrary to a recent report, no airline has to date said it plans to shift flights to other countries in the region.

All major airlines, including Thai Airways International (THAI), Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and other international carriers, told the panel they had no problem with the opening date of the new airport.

The government has said all flights must move to the new airport on Sept 28, when the existing Don Muang Airport will close to commercial traffic.

In a bid to woo airlines to Suvarnabhumi, Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) has postponed its plan to increase service fees by six months until April 2007. The fees include a landing and parking fee and passenger airport tax.

Tassapon Bijleveld, chief executive of Thai AirAsia, said all its flights would move to the new airport on Sept 25, three days ahead of the official opening. The final 10 flights, both domestic and international, on Sept 24 will also fly to the new airport.

“Even though our facilities there, including the office at the new airport, are not complete we are confident everything will be ready in time,” Tassapon said.

The early move is an attempt to avoid traffic congestion at the new airport the night before the opening date,” he said.

The airline has already informed passengers about the move. Ticket prices will not be increased, as the costs are the same now that the airport authorities have agreed to delay the landing-fee hike.

Thai AirAsia, a joint venture between Shin Corp and Malaysia’s AirAsia, said its 70 daily flights would shift from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi on Sept 25.

One Two Go, the low-cost unit of Orient Thai, said it would transfer all its flights to the new airport on Sept 26, two days before the opening date.

One of the company’s officers said the firm was keen to have a two-day head start to learn more about the airport.

Nok Air, another budget carrier and THAI’s sister airline, confirmed it would transfer all its flights to Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sept 27, one day ahead of the official opening.

THAI’s own local flights will be using the new airport from Sept 15, as required by the government.

Jetstar Asia will be the first foreign airline to use Suvarnabhumi Airport, flying from Singapore three times a day—also from Sept 15.

The new airport, which can serve up to 45 million passengers per year, will relieve congestion at the overstretched Don Muang, which is handling about two million passengers above its capacity.

The government hopes Suvarnabhumi will help Thailand compete against rival airports in Malaysia and Singapore to become the region’s most important aviation hub.

--------------------

Take The Bus

Air-conditioned buses that charge Bt35 or less than US$1 reach the airport from Sri Phraya Pier, Bang Lamphu, Bang Na intersection, Don Muang, Hua Lamphong Railway Station, Samut Prakan and Srinakharin.

Shuttle buses run between the Public Transport Centre and Passenger Terminal Complex.
Public buses operate between Suvarnabhumi and Chon Buri, Pattaya, Nong Khai and the Cambodian border at Poi Pet.

-----------------------

Major Airports In Asia

Hong Kong International Airport
2005


Passengers handled: 40.053 million
Number of takeoffs/landing: 210,112
Passenger capacity (current and ultimate): 45 million; 87 million
Cargo capacity (current and ultimate): 3 million tonnes; 9 million tonnes

Changi International Airport
2005


Passenger movement: 32.430 million
Airfreight movements (tonnes): 1.795 million



Kuala Lumpur International Airport
2005


Passenger handling: 25 million
(A planned second satellite terminal, expected to be completed in 2008, will increase passenger handling capacity to 45 million)
Aircraft handling: 120 flights per hour



Suvarnabhumi International Airport
2007


Passenger handling capacity: 45 million (at the initial stages)
Cargo handling capacity: 3 million tonnes per year
Aircraft handling: 76 flights per hour
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Old September 13th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #709
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Thai Business Confident New Airport Will Become Cargo Hub

BANGKOK, Sept 13 Asia Pulse - Leading executives are certain that Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport will become Asia's regional cargo hub and, as a result, promote regional trade.

Vikrom Kromadit, CEO of industrial estate developer Amata Corporation Public Company Limited, said on Tuesday that the new airport will be a distribution gateway to Thailand and the rest of Asia, with the ability to support commerce brought about by free trade areas (FTA) agreements between Thailand and major trading partners, like China and Australia.

Suvarnabhumi Airport's ability to handle greater cargo capacity, he said, is a crucial factor in realising Thailand?s aspiration in becoming the region's cargo hub.

Thanet Soraj, deputy CEO of logistics service provider We-Serve Group, expects the greater capacity, which is double that of Don Muang Airport, will be a decisive factor for global executives in choosing Thailand as a distribution centre for products bound for assembly or trade at a third destination.

This development, said Mr. Thanet, will open opportunities for companies in logistics and other related businesses, like warehouse storage.

Suchart Chantaranakaracha, president of the Thai Federation on Logistics, added that Suvarnabhumi Airport has potential to become not only the regional hub of cargo, but also passenger service. The new airport can accommodate 45 million travellers a year.

During the first few days of operation, Suvarnabhumi Airport might be hampered by certain problems, but problems are normal.

Once they are solved, a smooth operation can be ensured, said Mr. Suchart.

(TNA)
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Old September 13th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #710
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THAI Begins Domestic Flights to Suvarnabhumi Airport Routed Phitsanulok, Ubon Ratchathani, and Chiang Mai (certain flights) as of 15 September

Effective 15 September 2006 onwards, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited requests the cooperation of all passengers who have reserved seats on board domestic flights routed Bangkok - Phitsanulok v.v. (all flights), Bangkok - Chiang Mai v.v. (only flights TG 8868 and TG 8869), and Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani v.v. (TG 8870 and TG 8871) to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in advance of the flight departure time by at least 1 hour beforehand, with arrival at the departure area of the Passenger Terminal, arrive at entrance door 2, and check-in row C. For further information, please contact Tel. 0-2356-1111, 24-hours a day.

www.thaiair.com
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Old September 14th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #711
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JAL adds flights to Suvarnabhumi

(TNA) – Japan Airlines (JAL) will add one more daily flight between Bangkok and Tokyo after Suvarnabhumi Airport opens on September 28.

“Many people want to use Thailand as a transit point to a third country, but Bangkok International Airport [Don Muang] is too crowded and the number of flights to Bangkok is limited,” said Seigi Iwasaki, JAL regional manager.

“The new airport will encourage more people to stop over at Bangkok.”

JAL currently has four daily flights between the capitals and will add a fifth after September 28.

Although service charges at Suvarnabhhumi Airport are higher than those at Don Muang, Iwasaki considers the rise reasonable.

“Suvarnabhumi’s service charges are still cheaper than other airports in Hong Kong and Singapore,” said Iwasaki.


He also voiced confidence in the airport’s security system, but is slightly concerned about the first-class passenger lounge with decorating yet to be complete.


Transport Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal has offered JAL the use of Thai Airways International’s lounges until their facilities are ready.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 05:14 PM   #712
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THAI plans to test second round of international flights
BOONSONG KOSITCHOTETHANA


Thai Airways International (THAI) will conduct a second round of international flights through Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sept 22 to test its readiness ahead of the Sept 28 airport opening.

Four flights on three routes normally operated through Don Muang, will fly to Seoul and Beijing and from Guangzhou, through Suvarnabhumi instead for the test day only.

Unlike the first round of international test flights on the Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes on Sept 1, which involved mostly THAI staff and their families, the second round will involve paying passengers.

The national carrier will use Airbus A300-600 and A330-300 aircraft, each with around 250 seats, and will soon accept bookings.

A THAI executive confirmed yesterday that the test flights were part of a series of exercises aimed at familiarising passengers as well as the airline's personnel with the facilities at the new 125-billion-baht airport to ensure a smooth start-up of full-scale THAI services at Suvarnabhumi on the big day.

The national carrier is due to begin offering domestic flights tomorrow from Suvarnabhumi on three routes, with a total of five flights a day.

Chosen because of limited flight connection requirements, the three routes are Suvarnabhumi-Phitsanulok (three flights), Suvarnabhumi-Ubon Ratchathani (one flight), and Suvarnabhumi-Chiang Mai (one flight).

THAI operates more than 200 flights a day on its network that covers 70 destinations in more than 30 countries. It operates more than 80 aircraft.

Meanwhile, Jetstar Asia, the Singaporean budget carrier owned by Qantas of Australia, is set to become the first among some 80 foreign carriers to operate through Suvarnabhumi starting tomorrow.

Jetstar Asia said the decision formed part of a deliberate move to gain momentum for an expedient and smooth transition in the relocation to Suvarnabhumi from Bangkok International Airport (Don Muang).

Jetstar Asia will operate three Airbus 320 flights per day from Singapore to Bangkok.

www.bangkokpost.com
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Old September 14th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #713
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Awe-inspiring

Published on September 14, 2006 -
Designed by a German architect, Suvarnabhumi looks like a top-class German airport, while its sheer size, interiors and tall, imposing air-traffic control tower leave one breathless...

Once you set foot in the terminal of Suvarnabhumi International Airport the immediate impression is of being inside one of those modern German airports.

The aluminium structure, with cable-stayed glass facade, gives the impression of modern authority and spacious comfort. The terminal stretches out like a monster worm.

The roof of the terminal structure is made of fabric membrane, a synthetic material, which is transparent and looks like canvas. The fabric membrane is not only beautiful to look at, it keeps out the rain while allowing light to brighten the terminal.

“I feel like we’re in Munich airport,” I said.

“No, it looks more like Dusseldorf. Have you been there?” asks Somchai Sawasdeepon, the general manager of the Airports of Thailand Plc, which is responsible for every development aspect of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The reason the airport has a German “accent” is because its architect is German-born Helmut Jahn, who owns Murphy Jahn. His previous designs include Chicago Airport and the Sony Centre.

Somchai is proudly showing us around the gigantic terminal of Suvarnabhumi Airport, which, once it opens on September 28, will rival any airport in the region. Apart from Hong Kong airport, Suvarnabhumi is second to none in the region.

Make no mistake about its size. There is a passenger terminal complex connected to the concourse buildings. The combined area of both buildings is 563,000 square metres.
The airport will be able to accommodate an annual 45 million passengers, 76 flights an hour and three million tonnes of cargo handling a year.

It has to deliver because it cost more than Bt113.77 billion.

Somchai has been working night and day to make sure the transition from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi between September 27 and 28 will be smooth.

“If it has to be open, it has to be open. If you would like to wait until everything is ready, then you might have to wait forever. Because in real life, nothing is perfect,” he said.

“But we can assure you that as of today, we are 100 per cent ready to operate the commercial aviation to meet international standards. All the tests have been done.”

From the Nation Tower on Bang-na Trad, it takes us about 20 minutes along the Bang-na Trad Road to reach the new airport. Once you pass the Tanayong real estate project, with its huge condominium structures, you make a left turn into the airport. From there, it’s four to five kilometres before you reach the terminal.

Will the gravity of the airport shift civilisation to this part of Bangkok? You will have to make your own judgement after the opening.

Our first visit is the VIP terminal but the door into the section is chained, as the airport is not yet open. Security is tight to prevent petty theft. There is still some internal decorating to be done.

“Don’t worry, it will all be completed in time,” notes Somchai.

We walk inside the VIP area before going out to the boarding area. The airport has a special VIP section installed to welcome members of the Royal family. This section is also in the process of being decorated. But you can see it will be in a grand Thai style, with wood panelling.

The seating area is vast. The seating structure is made of aluminium, which may last for a hundred years. Workers pay attention to minute details of the floor as they race against time.

“Thais are good at beating deadlines,” said Somchai as he points to the shopping areas, which are still being fitted out.

“Once we’re open, the duty-free shops here will rival any where in the region – even better than Dubai,” he claimed.

You have to wear sports shoes if you want to visit most of the shops in the duty-free area because of the sheer length of the terminal. Outside the terminal, you can see the control tower standing like a Tower of Babel. At 132.2 metres, it is the world’s tallest.
We then emerge out of the boarding area, go through the immigration counters (where are the e-passports?) to the check-in areas. There are hundreds of luggage pieces and all kinds of bags in front of the check-in counters.

The airport has just completed a rehearsal of how the luggage will travel from the check-in, along the running belt before going to the baggage handlers who will actually stow them on the aircraft.

Somchai said the test-runs are going well as the airport has recruited hundreds of people in the military to help carry the luggage during test runs.

Since the airport is big, we take a golf cart to visit some other places inside the terminal. It looks cool because you feel like you’re a VIP.

We are driven to Level 2 of the concourse area where giant sculptures are on display. This represents the highlight of art in Suvarnabhumi.

Originally, the airport’s authorities wanted to place the Suphanahongse Royal Barge to honour His Majesty the King – who bestowed the name Suvarnabhumi – inside the airport. But the King viewed that the swamp area of Nong Ngu Hao might not be appropriate to house the Royal Barge, and recommended a Scene of the Churning of the Milk Ocean instead.

We stand in awe in front of the giant sculptures: Lord Vishnu presides over the churning of the milk-ocean – representing indefinite prosperity.

Somchai is still living happily at his home in Muang Ek in Rangsit. He has to drive a round trip of 140 kilometres to work every day.

Asked whether he will consider moving to somewhere nearer the airport, he said he is happy where he is. “Once I get on the expressway, it only takes me 40-45 minutes to reach the airport. It is not that far,” he said.

But between now and the opening, Somchai will have several sleepless nights.

Thanong Khanthong
The Nation
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Old September 14th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #714
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Beautiful! This will surely be on my must-see list!
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Old September 15th, 2006, 06:05 PM   #715
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Bangkok's new airport opens to first commercial flights

BANGKOK, Sept 15, 2006 (AFP) - Thailand's new airport opened for business Friday, handling its first commercial flights amid hopes that the would-be Asian aviation hub has put years of delay and controversy behind it.

Thai Airways and Australian budget carrier Jetstar Asia landed several planes during the morning, becoming the first to operate passenger flights out of Suvarnabhumi airport.

Both airlines were operating two weeks ahead of the airport's official opening, with other carriers expected to begin flights in the coming days to avoid congestion on September 28.

Suvarnabhumi, which means "golden land" in Thai, has been in the works for 40 years but suffered repeated delays due to construction problems and allegations of graft.

Complaints Friday, however, were minor with the only problem being a short hold-up at the check-in counters when boarding passes could not be printed, officials said.

"There were no major disruptions or errors this morning," said Apinan Sumanaseni, president of flag carrier Thai Airways.

Satoshi Yamada, a passenger on the first inbound flight from the northern Thai city of Thitsanulok, said the new airport was "clean" but that it took too long to get from the planes to the terminal.

"It takes quite a long time because the airport is really big," he told AFP, adding that he also worried about the time it would take to travel from the airport to downtown Bangkok, 25 kilometers (15 miles) away.

Suvarnabhumi, with initial capacity to serve 45 million passengers annually, will relieve congestion at the overburdened Don Muang, which now handles about 37 million passengers, two million over its capacity.

The government hopes the airport will help Thailand compete against rivals Malaysia and Singapore to become the region's most important aviation hub.

Jetstar's chief pilot Andrew Strauss said Suvarnabhumi would be "well-positioned to compete with Singapore" once the airport's third runway is completed. So far, only two are operational.

"And after they finish their fourth (runway), Thailand will be well-ahead of Singapore to become the regional hub," he told AFP.

Last month, travel industry experts were still warning that the September 28 opening was too soon and risked causing a host of operational problems that would hit ailines' confidence.

But Japan Airlines regional manager, Seiji Iwasaki, said Friday he was confident in the airport's systems, including security.

The three-billion-dollar project has become a personal crusade for Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who once camped out on the building site to show his support.

Still, the airport has its opponents, including King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang which is located just 3.5 kilometers (two miles) from Suvarnabhumi and suffers from the roar of overhead jets.

Institute officials will protest at the airport on September 28, as well as file a lawsuit against the airport authority and other government agencies "which ignored the noise impact on our students," associate professor Siriwat Potivejkul told AFP.

After repeatedly revising the completion date, officials were adamant that the airport would open before the start of the main tourist season in October.

All domestic and international carriers flying to Bangkok agreed last month to move their flights to Suvarnabhumi by September 28.

In exchange for agreeing to the government's proposed opening date, Airports of Thailand (AoT) had postponed a 15 percent increase in landing fees for six months.

Airport general manager Somchai Sawasdeepon said Friday's soft opening would help aviation authorities test the new systems and ensure a smooth official opening.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:37 AM   #716
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So, it's open now?
Damn, I haven't been to BKK in months - now I have a very good reason to go!
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 12:27 PM   #717
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No, it's not fully operational yet.

Just some routes from Thai, Jetstar, and Bangkok Airways for now.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 12:37 PM   #718
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will the airport be officially open on september 28 now that a military junta is ruling Thailand temporarily and declared martial law in bangkok and its surrounding areas? btw, i saw a picture in the front page of our newspaper that tanks are lining the expressway going to suvarnabhumi airport
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 04:04 PM   #719
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Nothing to be worried.
Suvarnabhumi Airport will be opened on 28 Sept as scheduled.

Everthing is just so normal here.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 08:08 PM   #720
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