Terminal 2 seminar sparks legal threat

Terminal 2 seminar sparks legal threat

Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) on Friday threatened to file lawsuits against any individuals who cause damage to the agency's reputation ahead of an upcoming seminar about plans for a second terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport.

In a statement, AoT defended the transparency of the 42-billion-baht project to build the second terminal which drew criticism from engineers and architects and said it would take legal action against anyone sharing defamatory information.

The statement was in response to a planned seminar on Thursday which is part of "National Engineering 2019" to be held on Nov 14-15. The title of the seminar "Terminal 2 Copy and Paste: Disaster for Suvarnabhumi?" casts doubt on the second terminal project.

Critics of the project allege that the plan for the development of the second terminal has deviated extensively from the original master plan and it would cause delays to the development of the rest of the airport and raise the risk of cost overruns.

According to the AoT's statement, the development project did not deviate from the blueprint and the second terminal was situated in what was described as "Area Reserved for Optional Terminal" by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The project was designed and reviewed by engineers and architects specialising in airport master planning, airport terminal planning and design, as well as airport development and infrastructure design, said AoT.

Moreover, the project development was put up for input from concerned agencies in the aviation industry, according to AoT. The agency also worked closely with transport authorities to make sure the project development was in compliance with other public transportation and infrastructure development schemes.

"If there is any news or activity that causes damage to its reputation and image, AoT reserves its right to take legal action against those involved," read the statement.

AoT's Terminal 2 proposal has been criticised by a number of high-profile organisations, such as the Council of Engineers and the Architects Council of Thailand. Both councils said the new proposal places the second terminal on an "inconvenient" location that strays far from the original master plan for Suvarnabhumi airport which was approved in 2003.

The original blueprint includes plans for two terminals -- the existing main terminal, and a second located to its south. In its new plan, however, the AoT decided that the second terminal will be located nearer the main terminal and a 500-metre monorail line will be built to shuttle passengers between the terminals.

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