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Old January 31st, 2007, 06:42 AM   #1141
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Airport repairs halted until investigation ends

Repairs to the runway and taxiway cracks at Suvarnabhumi have been put on hold until a thorough investigation by the board of the Airports of Thailand Plc into the cause of the cracks is completed. Designiated chief investigator Tortrakul Yomnak said on Tuesday the repair halt is to prevent faulty repair methods from being employed and to protect visiting aircraft.

Mr Tortrakul, an AoT board member, heads the official investigative committee of experts which must find the exact cause of the cracks that have appeared on the runways and taxiways of the four-month-old airport.

The probe includes the boring of soil 30 metres deep under the runways and taxiways to collect samples of their foundations. The boring will tell the physical aspect of the soil under the airport, the construction of runways and taxiways and their subsidence level. Damaged areas have been sealed off.

The Tortrakul panel, set up by AoT chairman Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr, was formed on Jan 23 and must conclude its investigation by Feb 9.

Suvarnabhumi airport director Somchai Sawasdeepol has ordered a separate investigation into the partial and abrupt closure of the western runway last Thursday, which caused the diversion of four flights to U-tapao airport on that day.

He said neither he nor the other executives were notified of its closure in advance.

An initial inquiry found that a pilot of Thai AirAsia had informed air traffic controllers of dangerous objects that could compromise flight safety on the southern end of the western runway, Mr Somchai said.

Airport flight safety officials then inspected the site and had air traffic control inform other pilots of the need to close one end of the runway. The runway was partially closed at 2pm when Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen and his delegation were inspecting cracks on taxiways at the airport.

Large carriers could then only use the eastern runway and four of the visiting flights were asked to land at U-tapao airport for refuelling. Mr Somchai has asked his deputy and engineer Chat Hanpatananant to head the investigation.

An AoT source believes that Thursday's partial closure of the runway was unnecessary and it could be an attempt to divert attention from the AoT board's investigation into alleged irregularities by the AoT management.

However, Passakorn Surapipit, Suvarnabhumi's security chief, confirmed that safety officials had followed normal procedures by first inspecting the runway and then ordering its partial closure last Thursday because it was considered essential.

The chief executive officer of Thai AirAsia Tassapon Bijleveld has not been able to confirm whether the pilot who had informed traffic controllers about the need to close the runway was indeed an AirAsia pilot, but said the AoT should not ignore the issue in its investigation.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has denied responsibility for the problems that have cropped up at Suvarnabhumi airport, saying there is an attempt to discredit him and his government by linking them to the problems, according to his lawyer, Noppadon Pattama.

Mr Noppadon said yesterday that he had talked to the deposed premier who was concerned that the airport's problems were been used for political gain.

"The problems could be a political responsibility of Mr Thaksin and his government. But the contractors who built the substandard runways, taxiways or the water pipelines and those who hired them should be the ones held directly responsible for the problems," he said.

"Isn't it too much to force the former premier to take responsibility for the pipeline leakage at the airport?" he said.


By: Bangkok Post (Amornrat Mahitthirook and Surasak Glahan)
Date: 31 January 2007
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Old January 31st, 2007, 06:47 AM   #1142
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SUVARNABHUMI CRISIS

Move to use 2 airports gets a mixed reception

Travel operators fear confusion, and traffic problems will hit domestic travel, add to their costs

There has been a mixed reaction to news some domestic flights will shift from Suvarnabhumi Airport back to Bangkok's old airport at Don Muang.


Travel operators have urged the government to give a more detailed explanation for why the move is being proposed. Some fear city traffic problems will have an impact on domestic travel.


Many local airline operators have welcomed the idea to return some of their domestic flights to the old airport, as recommended recently by the Transport Ministry.


The move will be considered at the Cabinet meeting next Tuesday.


Apichart Sankary, president of Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said yesterday the government should explain to the private sector the main reasons for a partial shift back to Don Muang.


"Otherwise, international airlines might withdraw Thailand as an aviation hub from their global network," Apichart said, adding that such reassessments could happen soon. In addition, Apichart said the state agency should clarify how long it will take to repair Suvarnabhumi Airport's cracked taxiways and runway.


Chareon Wangananont, head of the Domestic Travel Association, said re-opening Don Muang airport would cause air-traffic congestion because the two airports were too close to each other.


"Domestic travel is expected to decrease because of this change," Chareon also said.


And using both airports would confuse passengers preparing to travel both to the provinces and overseas. Travel operators and bus services would need more time to pick up their guests.


"Tourists will not be happy with this because its different from the original deal they made in advance, while operators will face more transport costs," he said.


Chareon urged the government to explain the true reason for moving domestic flights back to Don Muang because it was very big issue and the industry has been asking questions about it.


Many airlines including THAI, One-Two-Go, and Bangkok Airways are ready to return to the old airport for certain domestic flights. Others, such as Nok Air, PB Airline and Phuket Airlines, are still considering the move.


However, Thai AirAsia, a Thai budget carrier that is part of the Malaysian low-cost AirAsia Group, said it would retain its services at the new airport.


Tassapon Beileveld, chief executive officer of Thai AirAsia, confirmed it would not be moving to Don Muang Airport.


"We still want to move both domestic and international flights to Don Muang - not just some flights from our network," he said.


Tassapon explained that more than 50 per cent of their passengers were from overseas and would need to use Suvarnabhumi to take connecting flights back to other countries.


Moreover, the airline could not make a separate schedule for using aircraft between domestic and international flights.


"Each aircraft is set to be used for both domestic and international flights - so the airline cannot revise its aircraft usage plan."


Tassapon said the airline would need an additional budget to hire more than 500 staff, equipment and parts if it undertook the move.


Apinan Sumanaseni, president of Thai Airways International Plc (THAI), said the airline would move domestic flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Muang within 30 days.


But the airline would continue to operate a combination of domestic and international flights at the new airport, such as connecting flights from Phuket, Chiang Mai and Krabi.


THAI domestic services for Phuket, Chiang Mai and Krabi - with non-connecting flights - would be at Don Muang.


Apinan said the company had announced earlier it was ready to move some operations back to Don Muang and hoped that using two airports would not trouble travellers.


"Only a few local travellers out of Phuket, Chiang Mai and Krabi need to use connecting flights so the company doesn't have to worry about this problem," Apinan said.


A source at the budget airline Nok Air, a sister airline of THAI, said the airline was considering using the old airport.


Udom Tantiprasongchai, chief executive officer of One-Two-Go, said the airline would move all their operations back to Don Muang. However, he said the company would have to invest an extra Bt40 million in infrastructure, including offices and ground services, as well as hire more staff.


Udom expected the business would grow by 20 per cent this year - double their original estimate of 10 per cent.


By: Suchat Sritama (The Nation news)
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:21 AM   #1143
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Suvarnabhumi: No cracks, minor damage

Engineers have examined the Suvarnabhumi Airport and found reports of damage overblown, with no cracks on runways or taxiways, it was reported on Friday.

In addition, foreign airlines report that they and their crews are happy with the physical state of Suvarnabhumi ground facilities.

Suchatavee Suwansawat, the secretary of the government-appointed panel of engineers assigned to inspect the facilities, said: "There are no cracks. The cement base is fine. The problem can be fixed."

According to Mr Suchatavee, the problem with the runways and taxiways are ruts, not cracks in the asphalt, the reports said. Reporters who accompanied officials Friday to what were described as the worst-affected areas saw ruts a few centimetres deep but only a small area with hairline cracks.

"This is a common type of damage. You see it in airports all over the United States," said Noppodol Phien-Wej, who is also on the government-appointed panel. He is a member of the Consulting Engineers Association of Thailand.

The panel of engineers will report that while it is unusual for the Suvarnabhumi tarmacs to show damage after only four months of major use, the problem is not serious.

"What is unusual here is the scale of the problem and the speed it is happening," said Mr Noppodol. He said damage was minute. About 70,000 square meters, or 84,000 square yards, amounting to 2.3 per cent of the airport's total pavement, is damaged, he said.

James Ward, a spokesman for British Airways, also spoke with reporters on the tour.

"Everything is normal," he said. "So far we haven't had any reported problems. Takeoffs and landing are normal. We haven't heard any complaints from the staff."
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:08 AM   #1144
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This airport cracks will be completed report by next 2 weeks. there are more than 100 spots of cracks (97,000 sq meters) that has been damaged there. engineers and more investigators will examine more carefully and will find out how much serious do runway, taxiway and passenger terminal have. If there are not big serious damages, they can be fixed to solve. If there are serious damage, it can be forced to close operation and reconstruction.. Big shame for Thai!!

This image of the new airport looks so more stunning for thai people, but thais are devastated by cracks found in 3 to 4 months later after opening operations becauase the former ousted premier minister, Thaksin who got involved into corruptions... Thaksin took over this new airport to force workers to construct hurrily before opening the date because he wanted people vote him in election!! Hurry scurry building new airport looks not really completed and having problems in some so he didn't care this some unfinished.. He covered up negative problem about cracks when he invited american experts to visit new airport to find out some problems on runway and suggested him to fix some, but he didn't listen to his warns and insisted airport to open before election.. it is stupid!!

Actually, He was no awares about how designs and operations for passengers and staffs' needs. he removed a lot of restrooms and some facitilities from the original blue print design of German architect cuz he needed to save money in politic budgets and let contractors to buy some areas for shoppings and more!! These is what he got profits from them by himself??? not for thai country??

This airport cracks and damages prove thai people and international passengers who visit. Then, Thai coup and interim minister want to open proofs that cracks and more lower qualities were most Thaksin's faults! These are what they need to fix all problems out and added new restrooms by following perviously original blue prints from german designer and more.. I believe these airport problem under reparation may take longer than 1 year or so on...
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:50 AM   #1145
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Rocky start for Bangkok airport
POSTED: 0330 GMT (1130 HKT), January 29, 2007
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- The taxiways are cracked, the terminal has leaks and some airlines even wonder whether it's safe to fly into Thailand's new international airport.

Bangkok's sleek and modern Suvarnabhumi Airport, which opened to great fanfare in September, was supposed to transform the Thai capital into Southeast Asia's leading air hub. To say it has had a rocky start would be an understatement.

Critics at home have derided the new airport as a national embarrassment and a monument to the alleged corruption of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin, whose administration handed out most of the airport's building contracts, was ousted in a coup just days before Suvarnabhumi opened on September 28.

"There is so much bad news about this airport -- and so much that needs to be fixed," said Yodiam Teptaranon, a board member of Airports of Thailand, or AOT, the national airport authority. "Everything seems to be happening all at once. It makes everyone concerned."

More @ http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TRAVEL/0....ap/index.html
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:36 AM   #1146
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hahhahah...good by architecture..yet very2 bad by construction..no offense!!
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:37 AM   #1147
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hahhahah...good by architecture..yet very2 bad by construction..no offense!!KLIA and Incheon are still the best in ASIA!!
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:40 AM   #1148
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it's no use to be proud of the terrible construction airport!!
btw..the architecture is extremely terrific...
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 08:20 AM   #1149
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I always thought Incheon was their version of HKIA. Heh..

They could close part of the airport and fix that section up then continue on with the next section. It would be a shame if they had to close it.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 08:46 AM   #1150
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Don't worry. They won't.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #1151
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Wow

all the pics above are great!!!!!!

Last edited by Bentown; April 25th, 2008 at 07:06 AM.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #1152
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Thailand to reopen old airport, giving Bangkok two hubs


Thailand's army-installed government announced that it will reopen Bangkok's shuttered Don Muang airport after a series of problems emerged at its sparkling new air hub.

"The cabinet has decided to maintain two international airports for our country because there have been many setbacks at Suvarnabhumi Airport and we need to prepare to handle more passengers in the future," Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont told reporters.

"Therefore it's necessary to have Don Muang as a second international airport," he said.

Transport Minister Thira Haocharoen said the decades-old Don Muang would be ready to resume commercial operations within 45 days.

"Don Muang will permanently re-open and we are now considering which airlines are to move back to Don Muang," Thira told reporters.

The decision took Thailand's aviation authorities by surprise.

The airport issue had not been on the cabinet's agenda for Tuesday and the transport minister had previously recommended only moving some domestic flights to Don Muang on a temporary basis to allow for repairs at Suvarnabhumi.

Don Muang has been closed since the gleaming Suvarnabhumi Airport opened in September to great fanfare, when it was trumpeted as a symbol of modern Thailand and its plans to become the region's premier travel hub.

Instead, the airport has become mired in problems ranging from cracks in the taxiways and runways, to allegations of graft and complaints about sanitation.

Highlighting the problems, Thailand's aviation authority last month declined to renew an international safety certificate for Suvarnabhumi.

The certificate is not required by law for the airport to operate, meaning it can stay open while the problems are sorted out.

Re-opening the old airport will postpone the need to expand Suvarnabhumi, which opened with a capacity of 45 million passengers a year.

Airline officials say that traffic has rapidly risen toward that point and the government had already planned a new terminal for low-cost carriers at Suvarnabhumi, which was designed to eventually grow to handle 100 million passengers a year.

Kulya Pakakrong, acting president of Airports of Thailand -- which operates Suvarnabhumi -- voiced surprise at the decision and warned that expansion would still be needed at Suvarnabhumi.

"Both Aviation Department and Airports of Thailand were surprised by the urgent, unexpected decision made by the cabinet," Kulya told AOT.

She had previously said that operating two airports would only temporarily solve the problems at the new airport.

Critics have also voiced concern about splitting air traffic between the two for fear the move would create confusion among travellers and that people trying to make connections could become snarled up in Bangkok's notorious traffic.

But Thailand's civil aviation chief Chaisak Angkasuwan said many big cities have more than one airport and Bangkok should be no different.

"In Tokyo or France, they operate more than one international airport in a big city so I don't see any obstacle for Thailand to do the same thing," Chaisak told AFP.

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/070206/1/46h91.html
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #1153
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MCOT News on Feb 3:
Report on Suvarnabhumi airport cracks due next week
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:50 AM   #1154
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And then there were two airports

By Amornrat Mahitthirook and Saritdet Marukatat

The move to reopen Don Muang to serve domestic as well as international airlines underscores the magnitude of the problems at Suvarnabhumi.

Time was not on the government's side. And that is the main reason why Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont was pressured into quickly deciding the fate of Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports.

Gen Surayud surprised the Transport Ministry on Tuesday when he decided to table the agenda regarding the future of the two airports at the cabinet meeting. Originally, the ministry wanted one more week to thoroughly assess damages at Suvarnabhumi Airport before asking cabinet to officially endorse a relocation plan.

However, after listening to reports from his team of advisers, the PM realised that his government did not have the luxury of time. He wanted to make it clear what the government intends to do with Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports so that officials at both airports and airlines would have more time to prepare for the move, map out what needs to be done and settle everything before the long weekend during the Songkran festival.

"He wants to make clear the direction so that every agency involved has sufficient time to come up with its plans of operation," said Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen.

Under the original plan favoured by the minister and the Airports of Thailand Plc, Don Muang would be used for domestic flights with no connections to overseas destinations. However, the PM decided that the old airport must service international routes, too.

Having two airports would not be unusual. Many big cities also have more than one airport to service fliers. Tokyo has its flagship airport at Narita and another airport at Haneda; London has Heathrow and Gatwick, while Berlin has as many as three airports at Tegel, Tempelhof and Schoenfeld.

The government's decision, however, can be read as underlining the magnitude of problems at Suvarnabhumi. For now, the main problems plaguing the new airport in Samut Prakan's Bang Phli district are cracks on its runways and taxiways, damages to passenger boarding bridges, and other facilities at the terminal. A source involved with the issue estimated that repair work would take longer than previously expected - somewhere between less than one year to about two years - in a worst-case scenario.

While closing down the whole airport to fix its many problems might expedite the work, it is not an option preferred by anyone. That means the authorities will have to close one or two sections each time to enable repair and maintenance work.

Another big worry for people involved with the airport's operation is its emergency plan and readiness to cope with such a situation if it arises.

Suvarnabhumi did not have an integrated test run of all its systems before the Sept 28 opening. Even now, its emergency manual remains unclear and its systems inadequately tested.

These problems are, indeed, pressing, which has prompted the government to act quickly.

Indeed, reopening the 92-year-old Don Muang is not a new idea. It has been an option for the ministry and AoT to ponder over, when the less than five-month-old Suvarnabhumi reaches its capacity load - set at 45 million users a year - which is expected to be soon, as it is now handling close to 40 million passengers in the first year.

While the previous regime under Thaksin Shinawatra did not have a one-airport policy, he tried to make it public that Suvarnabhumi would be the only airport for the capital, to end the reluctance of some airlines which preferred to stay at Don Muang when Suvarnabhumi was ready for operation.

The situation now is quite the opposite.

The Surayud government is concerned that if it failed to clarify on the policy of having two international airports, no one would be willing to move back to Don Muang.

Initially, the ministry and AoT believed that relocating only point-to-point domestic flights back to Don Muang would be enough to alleviate the traffic at Suvarnabhumi to pave way for repair work.

But sources at the ministry and AoT who are involved in the problems at Suvarnabhumi said that it would not. More flights had to be diverted to the old airport so that the repair work at Suvarnabhumi could be carried out smoothly, they said.

Some concourses might have to be temporarily closed down while repairmen started working on fixing the problems, they added.

Now that the government has made its decision, the burden falls on the Transport Ministry, particularly the Civil Aviation Department, to translate it into action.

Thai Airways International will have no choice but to stay put at Suvarnabhumi, using the new airport as its main base to maintain the objective of the government to use Suvarnabhumi as the country's main airport, with some flights to be diverted to Don Muang.

Thai AirAsia and other budget airlines will be happy about the possibility of coming back to Don Muang to reduce their operation costs.

A source at the ministry said they are working out details on the relocation, but the principle is clear.

"Not all airlines will be allowed to return," the source close to the issue said.

An airline source, however, warned that cargo services should not be allowed to move to Don Muang because it could jeopardise long-term investment plans at Suvarnabhumi and hamper the country's plan to use the new airport as a hub for cargo in the region.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #1155
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the decision to reopen Don Muang is so stupid!! Bangkok doesn't have the population the size of London, Tokyo, Paris and New York City. the solution to the problem is close some parts of Suvarnabhumi for repairs, temporarily reopen Don Muang, build the Low Cost Terminal at Suvarnabhumi, and once repairs and construction of Low Cost Terminal at Suvanabhumi finishes, then permanently close Don Muang again. I hope someone from Thai gov't will read this post.They should look at the example of Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, all maintaining one international airport while having big populations.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 09:16 AM   #1156
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I feel so bad for the Thai people. They had deserved a nice airport.

UMD: You said "Let's not miss the point...Suvarnabhumi is a good looking airport".

That can't be the only valid point, since it corresponds to bringing home a woman who looks good and then finding out the next morning that she has cracks and dry skin all over the place and that she is 10 years over due - but she looked good in the dark.

I know that your point is that the architecture is nice - which it is.

But the bottomline for an airport must be it's efficiancy and the quality of construction...

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P
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Old February 10th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #1157
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Plz don't bring that up if your definition of quality is based on "cracks and dry skin."

That's too superficial.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #1158
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Govt urged to close Suvarnabhumi

AIRPORT FIASCO


NLA investigation chief cites safety fears in calling for a total and immediate shift back to Don Muang


The fate of the Bt150-billion Suvarnabhumi Airport hangs in the balance as an investigation panel is due to reveal the cause of damage to the taxiways and runways at the landmark transport hub.


The government appears to be divided about whether the airport should be closed for repairs, amid fears that such a move could shake international confidence in the Kingdom's infrastructure.


Admiral Bannawit Keng-rien, chairman of the National Legislative Assem-bly's airport committee, yesterday stood by his suggestion that the airport should be closed if both runways were damaged.


"The closure would be for the sake of safety," Bannawit said.


His committee was established to tackle the problems surrounding the flagship airport, which only opened in late September.


Bannawit maintained his suggestion despite Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont's insistence that the airport should remain open so as not to damage international confidence.


It could stay open while repairs are completed, the premier said on Saturday.


A panel headed by Tortrakul Yomnark will today reveal the problems faced by the airport, how the repairs should be conducted and whether closure is necessary.


A civil engineer by trade, Tortrakul is a board member of the Airports of Thailand and his panel has conducted a technical assessment of the runways.


Tortrakul's panel will report its investigation results to Transport Minister Admiral Theera Haocharoen before making the findings public.


A source said the Tortrakul panel had found serious cracks on the taxiways, with further damage on the northern part of the east runway and the southern end of the western landing strip.


The insider said the runway repairs could be made without disrupting flight schedules.


"Services can alternate between the two runways," the source said.


Krai Tungsnga, a member of the Bannawit panel, said the airport's problems were not serious enough to force it to close. However, Bannawit said yesterday that if Suvarnabhumi were closed, Don Muang would be able to accommodate flight and airfreight services.


"I propose closure because it will prevent problems from dragging on," he said.


Meanwhile, Thai Airways International's union has condemned plans to allow Bangkok to have two international airports. And Demo-crat Party's spokesman Ong-art Klampaiboon urged the government to set up another committee to investigate Suvarnabhumi's problems.


"A committee of experts should look at all problems, not just the taxiways and runaways. What about the water leakage, inadequate lighting and overheating in the terminal?" Ong-art asked. He said the government should act against those responsible for the airport's problems.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 08:20 AM   #1159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous_filipino View Post
the decision to reopen Don Muang is so stupid!! Bangkok doesn't have the population the size of London, Tokyo, Paris and New York City. the solution to the problem is close some parts of Suvarnabhumi for repairs, temporarily reopen Don Muang, build the Low Cost Terminal at Suvarnabhumi, and once repairs and construction of Low Cost Terminal at Suvanabhumi finishes, then permanently close Don Muang again. I hope someone from Thai gov't will read this post.They should look at the example of Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, all maintaining one international airport while having big populations.
I actually don't feel like the idea of having two international airports for Bangkok, but it seems really ok for that.
Last year there were 42 millions passengers for the airport, number 4th in Asia overall. While the full capacity for the first phase Suvarnabhumi Airport is just 45 millions. I think the proper choices are reopen Don maung airport or start to build the second phase right now.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #1160
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or make don muang as bangkok's airport for domestic and chartered flights and start building suvarnabhumi's 2nd phase and LCC terminal.
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