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Suvarnabhumi » Airports of Thailand told to buy land and buildings within 10km around airport

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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Airports of Thailand (AOT) has been told to acquire land and structures within a 10-kilometre radius of Suvarnabhumi airport, to solve all problems with residential communities nearby. The acquired land would be developed commercially to raise money that would reimburse all acquisition expenses, Deputy Transport Minister Sansern Wongcha-um said.

He had already informed Airports of Thailand president-designate AM Chana U.Sathaporn of the policy.

“The policy has existed since the time I took office. I have repeatedly told Airports of Thailand executives the problem needs a long-term solution. That is, the land must be acquired and then developed to generate income to reimburse (the land acquisition cost). Many private parties are interested in the possibility,” he said.

The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) had suggested that residential communities should no longer be allowed to exist in the areas surrounding  Suvarnabhumi airport that are affected by airplane noise pollution.

The NESDB recommended that the Airports of Thailand acquire all the land surrounding the airport and use the money raised from interested developers to fund the acquisition.

Mr Sansern advised Airports of Thailand to hire a consultancy to study how best to develop the land. Representatives of freight forwarders have suggested that cargo yards or facilities for manufacturing goods for export be developed in the vicinity of the airport.

Mr Sansern also said he had ordered Airports of Thailand to speed up the process of compensating property owners who have been affected by over 70 decibels of aircraft noise pollution.

So far only six out of a total of 773 property owners that fit the criteria have been compensated since Suvarnabhumi started operating in September last year.

Compensation has been too slow, he said, and he wants all the owners to be compensated by early next month.  (BkkPost)

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