CHIANG MAI: Residents of tambon Mae Hia are stepping up their opposition to a plan to extend Chiang Mai International Airport's operating hours, saying many have yet to be compensated for damage caused by flights taking off and landing at the airport over the past five years.
According to the president of the Nimman Noradee Neighbourhood, Meena Chankaew, residents whose properties have been adversely affected by traffic to and from the airport will ask the Administrative Court to put the brakes on the plan to allow round-the-clock operations at the airport starting on Wednesday.
She said many residents have complained about the damage caused by the excessive noise and vibration from overhead traffic, but Airports of Thailand (AoT) has yet to come up with a solution to the problem.
Ms Meena, who lives next to the airport, said over the past five years, she has received about 20,000 baht in compensation for damages to her property, but nothing has been done to resolve the situation.
At a meeting with Mae Hia residents on Monday, AoT representatives and officials from Chiang Mai airport promised to roll out a number of measures to address local residents' concerns.
They agreed to set up a fund to compensate residents for any damage that may be caused by the extended operating hours, offer hearing tests to local residents in affected areas and put up sensors to measure noise from the airport of this northern province.
They also pledged to open a shop in the airport to showcase products made by local residents.
However, Ms Meena said they failed to explain how affected residents can access the compensation fund, adding local residents want the AoT to carry out a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) on 24-hour operations, as the original EIA for the project, which was approved in 2005, only allowed operations until 1am.