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Suvarnabhumi » Former Bangkok Airport may use as air maintenance center

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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Thailand’s former Bangkok International Airport at Don Muang is being proposed to serve as the aircraft maintenance centre now that commercial flights moved to Suvarnabhumi Airport last month, National Economic and Social Advisory Council (NESAC) said Thursday.

Okas Tepalagul, chairman of the Communication and Energy Infrastructure Working Group, said he met representatives of Airports of Thailand (AOT), Thai Airways International (THAI), the Department of Civil Aviation and the Royal Thai Air Force to disscuss on how to use the, retired airport, Don Muang facility.

They agreed that Don Muang Airport could further serve the aviation industry, including being a locus for chartered flights and that the airport could become an aircraft maintenance centre for Thailand and as a hub for providing spare aircraft parts.

He said the NESAC would meet with the agencies concerned before submitting its conclusions to the cabinet for consideration before the end of this year.

Meanwhile, AoT airport operations director Anand Khongyuen, who represented AOT President Chotisak Asapaviriya at the meeting said that AOT will meet Friday with executives of a group of economy airlines including Nok Air, Thai Air Asia, Orient Thai Airlines and foreign no-frills airlines to discuss the possibility for commercial use of Don Muang for the budget airlines.

Aviation Department director-general Chaisak Angkasuwan earlier rejected a plea by budget air carriers to return their operations to Don Muang, saying that the move would double the overhead expenses in keeping both airports in operation simultaneously.

The low-cost airlines are reported to be unhappy with the higher costs they are encountering at the new Bangkok airport, in particular the fees for parking aircraft.

The AOT president said after meeting representatives of the budget airlines on Wednesday that there was a possibility for the no-frills airlines to move their commercial flights back to Don Muang. (TNA)

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