Royal Thai Air Force training base in Udon to move following noise complaints

Royal Thai Air Force training base in Udon to move following noise complaints

Udon Thani: Relief measures including a plan to move a training base for the Thai and Singaporean air force F-16 fighter crew to Nam Phong airbase in Khon Kaen province in the next 3-4 years is being drawn up.

The move is to help locals living in the vicinity of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF)'s airbase in Udon Thani who have complained about aircraft noise, a seminar was told on Friday.

Authorities from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the RTAF, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and locals were invited to the city meeting to discuss a recent rise in noise pollution, particularly during take-off and landing.

Gp Capt Wisarut Chanthapradit, commander of the RTAF's 23rd air wing, said nobody was sitting idly by following complaints from those affected in the northeastern province.

Plans to move the Thai and Singaporean air force facility to Nam Phong district in Khon Kaen province in the next 3-4 years are already advancing at pace.

Gp Capt Wisarut said that normally only four fighter jets would be in service at this time of the year; there were already a total of 12 jets involved in this year's specially arranged joint training.

Sarawut Petchpanomporn, Pheu Thai MP for Udon Thani and president of the House committee, said it was a second trip for members to verify the credibility of the complaints following an earlier visit.

While cautiously welcoming the decision to relocate, Mr Sarawut also called on the combined force to offer aid to those affected by the extra air traffic.

Sayan Meekaew, chief of the environment quality control division of the Environment Office, said harmful noise levels had been recorded in three areas and hoped the RTAF would help pay for treatment for locals.

It is unclear how much the relocation would cost.

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