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Destination Air flies on

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Destination Air flies on | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The managing director of Destination Air has described Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit’s order to suspend flight service to Patong as “anticlimactic”, saying the airline had for months been scheduled to wrap up operations in Patong because of unsafe monsoon-season conditions now setting in.

Pat James told the Gazette that the governor’s decision, taken in the wake of complaints about noise pollution and safety concerns, would have little effect on the company or its customers. (Click here for original story.)



“There is really no reaction from Destination Air to the order, as we were closing out the season anyway. The monsoon winds have already changed and we made arrangements two weeks ago to move our pontoons.

“The governor and everyone were well aware that we were moving everything out of there for the season. It changes absolutely nothing in terms of our scheduling because April 7 was our last day for the season. We can’t go in there now; weather conditions don’t allow it,” he said.

“This is short term. They have asked us to conduct a couple of studies and we are working closely with the Department of Civil Aviation [DCA] and the environmental people, as we have been for the past three to four months.

“The DCA is satisfied that Destination Air was landing and flying in authorized areas. Some people secretly made videos of our takeoffs and landings, but those just confirmed to the DCA that we were operating where we were entitled to be.

“As far as the pollution and the noise, they also did some checks and determined that the levels were acceptable,” he added.

Mr James said Destination Air expect to be operating fully in Patong next high season, though it will transfer passengers by boat rather than taxiing to a floating dock.

“It’s the same as we do at all our other 36 authorized locations,” he said.

Destination Air will comply with the DCA’s request for a new Initial Environmental Evaluation for both the environmental and procedural processes for operating in Patong, and will also apply for a permit to operate as a scheduled carrier, he added.

“We discussed advertising scheduled flights with the DCA and they asked us to begin the process to become a scheduled carrier, so we’ll start the procedure. Between now and then we will not post a schedule. We will have morning and afternoon flights available, but we will not market ourselves as a scheduled airline.

“The announcement was somewhat anticlimactic as far as we are concerned, because there was nothing that resulted from the meeting that wasn’t already pre-planned many months ago. The outcome of the meeting did not surprise anyone; it was anticipated,” he said.

Mr James said he suspects the suspension order to have been a way of pleasing those in opposition to the service.

“The service that Destination Air offers the community and the tourism industry is tremendous for high-end customers, the four- and five-star customers that the governor wants to attract to the area. If you ask if this affects Destination Air in any way, it does, only in the sense that we have a little more work to do over the monsoon season to reinstate ourselves as a more ‘community friendly’ service to the area,” Mr James said.

“As far as our customers are concerned, the main difference will be that instead of being able to walk on and off in a more convenient manner, now we will simply be doing it from a bit further offshore,” he said.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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