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Old December 9th, 2009, 08:29 PM   #1501
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Thai Airways files civil suit against protest leaders in airport seizure


BANGKOK, Dec 9 (TNA) – Thai Airways International (THAI) on Wednesday filed a Bt575 million civil lawsuit against Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a key protest leader and 35 other Peoples’ Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders with spearheading thousands of protesters to take possession of the country's two main airports last year.

The first court hearing is scheduled for February 22.

The protests led by the 36 accused from November 25 to December 4, 2008 were aimed to topple the administration of then-prime minister Somchai Wongsawat.

The airport seizure resulted in huge losses for the company in covering the costs of providing accommodation and food for stranded passengers, paying allowances for its employees, and transferring passengers to other airlines, estimated at Bt478 million.

The cost of damages also included losses of income from suspended transportation services worth Bt33 million.

Damages amount to Bt535 million with interest of Bt40 million, beginning from the date the incident occurred.

Last year, thousands of anti-Thaksin Shinawatra PAD protesters or the so-called Yellow Shirt occupied Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, halting all flights and demanding the resignation of then prime minister Somchai.

The PAD claimed that Mr Somchai, a brother-in-law of Mr Thaksin, was a proxy of the ousted premier.

The protests at two airports ended after the Constitution Court ruled to dissolve the ruling People Power Party for election fraud and disqualified the party’s head and executives, automatically removing Mr Somchai from his post as premier. (TNA)
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #1502
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Old December 12th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #1503
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Old December 14th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #1504
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Old December 18th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #1505
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 06:55 PM   #1506
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Old December 24th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #1507
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Suvarnabhumi-Munich link

Bangkokpost Published: 24/12/2009 at 12:00 AM


Suvarnabhumi Airport and Munich Airport have signed an agreement to become sister airports as part of a bid to foster cooperation between the two air hubs on both sides of the continents.

Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) president Serirat Prasutanond concluded the accord with Munich Airport chief executive Michael Kerkloh at a signing ceremony this week.

The agreement lays the groundwork for co-operation in technology and airport operations as well as media relations, as well as fostering an increase in air services between Munich and Bangkok.

Mr Serirat said the agreement, the first its kind for AoT, enabled the Thai company to tap technical knowhow, experience and best practices, which Munich Airport has had.

AoT plans to establish similar accords with two other leading Asian airports - South Korea's Incheon and Japan's Narita.

Forming sister airport agreements with international airport would contribute to Suvarnabhumi's aspiration to become of the world's top 10 airports in the Airports Council International (ACI) annual rating.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #1508
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Old January 4th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #1509
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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #1510
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Old January 6th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #1511
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Suvarnabhumi weighs full-body scanners

Bangkokpost Published: 6/01/2010 at 12:00 AM


Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) acknowledges that existing security measures at Suvarnabhumi Airport may not be enough in light of an attempt to blow up an airliner in the United States on Christmas Day.


The incident involving a Nigerian terror suspect on Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit has again focused global attention on airport passenger screening.

Officials are now considering a plan to invest hundreds of millions of baht to install full-body scanners at passenger checkpoints. The devices are in partial use at several US airports and are being introduced at some European facilities including Schiphol in the Netherlands.

Suvarnabhumi's management plans to raise the issue of installing the technology, known as millimetre wave imaging when the AoT board meets next Wednesday.

Cost and privacy concerns are the major drawbacks, said Suvarnabhumi director Niran Thiranartsin.

When the scanners were introduced a few years ago in the US, critics complained the technology allowed screeners to see under clothing to create an image of the body, amounting to a virtual strip search.

"We're more concerned about public opinion on privacy than the high costs involved," said Mr Niran. "But we can't be stingy about security."

Asia Security Management (ASM), a joint venture between SET-listed Loxley Plc and Germany-based ICTS Europe Holding BV, which provides security services at Suvarnabhumi, will install a full-body scanner at the airport on Jan 25 to test its effectiveness.

Suvarnabhumi would be the first Asian airport to test the scanners, similar to small walk-in closets.

Security concerns have been magnified after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, allegedly tried to blow up the Northwest flight from Amsterdam as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day.

Security measures at Bangkok's three-year-old airport have already tightened following the incident, with one out of 10 outbound passengers subject to full screening, up from one out of 15.

Metal detectors, x-ray machines and pat-down screening are being used at Suvarnabhumi.

There are 2,500 security personnel at Suvarnabhumi, 2,000 of whom are ASM staff and the rest AoT officials.

Mr Niran hinted that additional costs resulting from the installation of the full-body scanners, which apply radio frequency bands rather than more harmful x-rays, may need to be passed on to travellers by higher passenger service charges (PSC).

But the International Air Transport Association (IATA) disagreed with the method. "Governments need to take responsibility for the costs of additional security since it is a state responsibility," said Albert Tjoeng, an IATA spokesman for Asia Pacific.

AoT spends about 1.6 billion baht a year on security at Suvarnabhumi. Roughly 17% of the PSC money goes to the airport security expenses.

Meanwhile, IATA said the Jan 3 announcement by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to replace the original emergency requirement for 100% pat-down screening of all US-bound passengers with "threat-based" and random screening, was a welcome step in the right direction."Clearly, the air transport system cannot support 100% pat-down searches over the long term. However, a smaller percentage of intensive pat-downs accompanied by trace detection technology may reduce delays and achieve near-term security requirements as we focus on longer-term technology solutions to address the ongoing threat," IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani said.

Long-term, sustainable security must be globally harmonised, risk-based and efficient for passengers, he added.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #1512
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Old January 6th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #1513
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Old January 11th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #1514
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Old January 12th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #1515
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Old January 14th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #1516
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Old January 15th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #1517
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #1518
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Old January 18th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #1519
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Old January 18th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #1520
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