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Airport expansion plans, exactly a decade ago

Tanutam Thawan

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Airport expansion plans, exactly a decade ago | The Thaiger
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In the wake of this week’s AoT announcement about the two new airports – one for Phuket and Chiang Mai – it’s only ten years ago, exactly, that funding was announced for the expansion of Phuket International Airport.

Digging into the archives the article from May 23, 2008, says that in 2009 the AoT was expecting 6 million passengers to pass through the airport (passenger numbers exceeded 16 million last year). The two new airports have a budget of 60 billion baht each.

“The announcement was made on May 23 by Deputy Transport Minister Songsak Thongsri, who joined Phuket Vice-Governor Worapoj Rathasima, PIA Director Wicha Nernlop, and other officials from AOT and PIA in a meeting and inspection tour of the airport.

In 2007, PIA had a total of 38,368 flights, a 32.4% rise from the year 2006, with 5.47 million passengers using the airport, a 22.6% increase over the previous year. The sharp rise is attributed to the growing popularity of low-cost carriers.

This year, the AOT expects the airport to accommodate 41,000 flights and about 6 million passengers.”

For the past 20 years the Phuket International Airport has had 10%+ growth every year. The figures seemed amazing at the time…

“In 2007, PIA had a total of 38,368 flights, a 32.4% rise from the year 2006, with 5.47 million passengers using the airport, a 22.6% increase over the previous year.”

But the figures continue to rise with this week some relief in sight with the announcement of a new airport for Phang Nga which will service both the Phang Nga region and Phuket. At the same time the rest of Phuket’s infrastructure continues to groan under the weight of the continuing tourist onslaught with roadworks and building sites more the norm than the exception.

The story from May 23, 2008 HERE.

This week’s announcement from the AoT HERE.

And controversy about the rumoured airport a few years ago HERE.

Airport expansion plans, exactly a decade ago | News by The ThaigerPhuket Gazette photo of the airport and terminal, exactly a decade ago – May 23, 2008.

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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Protests

MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest

Caitlin Ashworth

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MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A member of parliament filed a complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the weekend’s pro-democracy protest where activists demanded reform of the Thai Monarchy. He’s also putting together a legal team aimed at dissolving the members’ 3 opposition parties.

Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjakha says he has a photo of the 3 members raising their hands in a 3 finger salute, a symbol of resistance against the military run government. He says the protest was illegal, and the location, the Royal Field next to the Grand Palace, is off limits to unauthorised people.

He filed the complaint with the Chanasongkhram police against Mongkolkit Suksintharanont, of the Thai Civilized Party, Peerawit Ruangluedolapark, of the Thai Rak Thai Party and Nattha Boonchai-insawat of the Kao Klai Party.

A legal team assigned by Sira will collect evidence and file a petition with the Constitutional Court calling on the dissolution of the 3 opposition parties: Thai Civilized Party, Thai Rak Thai Party and Kao Klai Party.

He says he also plans to ask the House Speaker to investigate the 3 members to determine if they breached the parliament’s ethical conduct.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Drugs

Border police find 160 kilograms of marijuana hidden in fertiliser sacks

Caitlin Ashworth

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Border police find 160 kilograms of marijuana hidden in fertiliser sacks | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Border police found 160 kilograms of compressed marijuana near an Isaan roadside. Police say they believe the marijuana was trafficked across the Mekong River. No suspects were found and no arrests were made, at this stage.

Police suspect the marijuana was smuggled in on long tail boats from Laos to the Isaan province of Nakhon Phanom during the tropical storm Noul over the weekend. A Border Patrol Police commander, Apisit Rodnoy, says the marijuana was gradually brought across the Mekong River and onto the riverbank in the border district Tha Uthen.

Police say they found 4 fertiliser sacks near a road. The sacks had 200 packages of marijuana adding up to 160 kilograms. Police say it was ready to be picked up by traffickers.

Over the past month, more than a tonne of marijuana has been seized in the province. Police say the compressed marijuana is sold for 3,000 to 5,000 baht per kilogram along the border, but the cost goes up in inner provinces to around 15,000 to 20,000 baht per kilogram.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Road deaths

4 people drown after SUV careers into canal in Chon Buri

Caitlin Ashworth

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4 people drown after SUV careers into canal in Chon Buri | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

4 people died after a driver allegedly hit a curb and lost control of her Toyota Fortuner SUV, running it off the road and into a Chon Buri canal.

The driver, 38 year old Sukanya from Bangkok, survived and told police she was driving 6 friends from Bangkok to Rai Lak Thong, a subdistrict in Chon Buri. She says the road was dark and she was unfamiliar with the area. She hit a curb, breaking through the road barrier and overturning the car. The SUV then slid into the a Phanat Nikhom district canal.

The water in the canal was high due to the weekend storm. The driver and 2 others were able to get out through the window, but the others – 1 man and 3 women – drowned in the submerged vehicle. By the time rescue workers arrived and pulled the bodies out of the car, they were dead.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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