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Suvarnabhumi » New AOT Board should take immediate action to repair runways and taxiways at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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Airports of Thailand (AOT) should seek temporary protection from a court to take immediate action to contain the damage to runways and taxiways at Suvarnabhumi airport, pending the pinpointing of those responsible for the problems, a veteran engineer said yesterday.

Suebsak Promboon, director of the Engineering Institute of Thailand, said court protection would allow AOT to make immediate repairs without damaging its rights under the contract that governs the construction of the runways and taxiways.

If new board of AOT, who assigned by the military government, waits for arbitration to find those responsible for the cracks on the runways and taxiways, it would be too late for it to prevent further damage at the new Bangkok Airport, he said.

The damaged areas need underground water drained urgently to contain the cracks. In this case, AOT should not wait for the arbitration that would involve its former executives, airport designers and builders as well as construction supervisors, Mr Suebsak said.

He estimated the cost of repairs covering 78,000 sq m of cracked areas at 300-500 million baht. AOT would need to hire a consultant to help plan permanent repairs.

AOT‘s new board member Tortrakul Yomnak said the terms for selecting a consultant would be finalised in 15 days.

Apart from recommending permanent repairs, the selected consultancy must help AOT fight a coming legal dispute over who was responsible for the damage from the ignorance to maintain the quality of runway at the airport.

He agreed that the urgent drainage of water under runways and taxiways was essential to contain the damage. AOT would advance the payment for the drainage and claim it from its insurer later.

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