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Suvarnabhumi » No housing zone grows to 10km around Suvarnabhumi Airport

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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The no-housing zone surrounding Suvarnabhumi airport has been extended from a radius of eight to 10km as a long term solution to aircraft noise pollution, Deputy Transport Minister Sansern Wongcha-um said yesterday.

Mr Sansern said the meeting on management of the airport vicinity, which he chaired, agreed yesterday that residents in the designated areas would be subject to expropriation, which would be carried out on a voluntary basis.

The exact area covered in a radius from the airport’s centre and the number of affected homes had yet to be determined.

Mr Sansern said the announcement prohibiting housing within 8km of the airport had been in place since 1992 and reiterated on many occasions, but it had never been taken seriously. He said the aircraft noise since the opening of the airport had made areas in the vicinity unfit for residential purposes. Land prices have plunged by up to 80% as a result.

The meeting gave a working team, comprising transport permanent secretary Chaisawat Kittipornpaiboon, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and related agencies, one to two months to work out a plan for commercial development of the areas in the no-housing zone. Maximum benefits and possible private participation in the development would be the aims of the plan. The areas had a high potential to serve aviation-related activities, he said.

Mr Sansern said talks are underway to sort out compensation and assistance for the first phase of expropriation 71 houses sitting on 29 rai of land north of Suvarnabhumi, where noise levels were measured at above 40 on the scale of the Noise Exposure Forecasts, considered a level dangerous to health.

Compensation rates will vary according to the location and land price of each house, but total costs for this first batch would be capped at within the 389-million-baht budget the cabinet approved on Nov 14.

In the short run, those badly affected by aircraft noise and who could no longer stay in their homes would be relocated to about 100 housing units in the Lat Krabang-Romklao area that Airports of Thailand had arranged for their temporary stay, pending settlement.

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