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Gov suspends Patong seaplane service

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Gov suspends Patong seaplane service | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Citing complaints of noise pollution and threats to public safety, Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit yesterday ordered Destination Air to stop its seaplane shuttle flights to and from Patong Bay until the company complies with all Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) regulations.

At a two-hour meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday, Gov Niran called a halt to the flights after conferring with three representatives from the DCA as well as hotel managers leading the opposition to the flights and local officials.

The DCA representatives and Gov Niran noted that although Destination Air was issued a permit to operate non-scheduled flights to several destinations along the Andaman Coast until 2011, the permit granted by the DCA was based on an Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE) to operate in a marine national park in Krabi.

DCA Deputy Director-General Wuthichai Singhamanee admitted that the DCA was unaware of actual conditions in Patong when it granted the permit.

Officials in Bangkok knew it was a popular tourist destination but had no idea how densely populated it actually was, K. Wuthichai said.

Destination Air’s permit specifies several conditions of operation, including the use of safety buoys to mark landing and takeoff zones and the obligation to ferry passengers from plane to shore by boat, which must also warn other vessels in the area before landings and takeoffs.

Instead, there was solid evidence that the planes have been flying low over resorts before landing, then taxiing to a floating dock, K. Wuthichai said.

The DCA may suspend the permit if the carrier is found to be violating the conditions under which the permit was granted, he said.

Destination Air’s listing of a flight schedule on its website and promotional brochures was also a problem because Destination Air’s permit was granted strictly for non-scheduled flights, K. Wuthichai added.

Gov Niran said he decided to halt the flights until Destination Air can prove it will comply with all DCA conditions.

The carrier can resume its service to Patong after it submits a new IEE for its operations in the area and convinces the DCA that it will abide by all the terms listed in its flight permit, he said.



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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