AIRPORTS OF THAILAND
The new chairman of Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) intends to relieve congestion at Suvarnabhumi and Phuket airports.
Sita: Wants airport expansion sped up
Sita Divari, a former MP for Bangkok, was elected by AOT board members as their chairman yesterday. He listed improving the standard of services and relieving congestion at Suvarnabhumi and Phuket airports as his priorities.
The 48-year-old, a former spokesman of the Thaksin Shinawatra administration and a close aide of Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, said Suvarnabhumi is currently undergoing its second phase of construction, with the airport's runways being expanded.
After the second phase is finished, the airport should be able to handle 60 million passengers a year. There are plans for a third phase of construction, also involving the expansion of runways, which is expected to raise the capacity of Suvarnabhumi airport to 90 million passengers a year.
Sqn Ldr Sita said the second phase was originally set to be completed in 2011 but due to delays it is now projected to end in 2017. He said he wants the third phase, which is scheduled to start after 2017, to begin right away.
Sqn Ldr Sita also wants to accelerate the installation of a point-of-sale monitoring system to check sales at duty-free shops operated by King Power Duty Free Co at six airports _ Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi. He said King Power, which shares revenues from its shops with AOT, would pay for the 312-million-baht system and install it in six months.
The new chairman said 60% of AOT's overall income comes from airport duty-free shops and 40% from airport and flight-related services, but he wants the proportions to be the other way round.
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- Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook