Majority agree with Nakhon Pathom airport plan: poll

Majority agree with Nakhon Pathom airport plan: poll

A majority of people agree with a plan to build a new airport in Nakhon Pathom province west of Bangkok to reduce congestion at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi international airports, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute for Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on Sept 12-13 on 1,273 people aged 15 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on the new airport plan.

The 20-billion-baht proposal, which the airport authority plans to submit to the Transport Ministry, calls for a new airport on 3,500 rai of land straddling Bang Len and Nakhon Chaisi districts. Construction would be completed in four years, said Jarun Meesomboon, deputy director-general of the Airports Department.

A majority -- 62.35% -- of respondents said they never travel by air, while 37.47% said they have used the country's airports.

Of those who regularly or occasionally travel by air, 87.84% said they travel via Don Mueang airport; 59.75% Suvarnabhumi airport; and 3.56% other airports.

Asked to choose between several responses to the plan to build a new airport in Nakhon Pathom to reduce congestion at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports, a majority of the respondents - 65.28%- agreed with it, reasoning that it would facilitate air travel for people in the province and nearby areas, promote local tourism and decentralise growth outside Bangkok; 18.54% disagreed, saying that Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports are still capable of handling passengers and that improvements should be made to the two main airports instead; 14.45% were not interested; and 1.73% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked who they think would benefit from the new airport, 37.36% pointed to investors and businessmen related to commercial aviation; 37.00% the people of Nakhon Pathom; 36.61% the people to the west of Bangkok; 30.71% Thailand as a whole; 26.69% tourism in western Thailand; 2.12% said nobody would benefit from it; 1.49% cited the government and state agencies; and 6.05% were uncertain or had no comment.

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