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Phuket Airport operators angry over termination of concessions



PHUKET: Business operators whose concessions have not been renewed to operate shops and provide services at Phuket International Airport will have the chance to appeal to a top Ministry of Transport official tomorrow.

Col Winai Sompong will arrive in Phuket to discuss the issue directly with the retailers, explained Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak.

The news came after Thammawat Wongcharoenyut led nine other airport business operators this morning to file a complaint to Vice Governor Somkiet against Airports of Thailand (AoT), which operates Phuket Airport.

“The business operators argue that they have operated their businesses at the airport for a long time, so they should have the right to renew their concessions, but it’s all down to the AoT board,” V/Gov Somkiet explained.

“AoT has allowed these people to operate at the airport for nine years. However, their most-recent concessions expired at the end of March.

“Now, the AoT board in Bangkok wants to introduce bidding for store spaces at the airport, so the operators’ concessions have not been renewed,” he said.

V/Gov Somkiet prepared the operators for some bad news.

“I told them that if this is the policy of the AoT board, we then have no authority over them,” he said.

“We have to follow their policy as the airport might want to give the opportunity to other operators to run businesses at the airport,” V/Gov Somkiet said.

— Orawin Narabal


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