Thailand: Delays Foreseen in Opening of New Airport

Section: General News - Caretaker Deputy Transport Minister Gen. Chainant Charoensiri has expressed his concern that a planned opening of Suvarnabhumi international airport this July could be delayed due to extensive repairs on the passenger terminal and of roofing fabric on concourse buildings.

Leading civil engineers from the Air Force and journalists to inspect progress on the construction work of the airport in Bangkok's neighbouring province of Samut Prakan Friday, Gen. Chainant said 14 sections of roofing fabric on concourse buildings had to be replaced while another 81 sheets needed repairs and this could take a few months.

Refurbishment of the duty free shopping area, to be operated by King's Power Duty Free, is also required as many cracks were found on the floors of concourse buildings and water leaked from them.

Construction contractor ITO Joint Venture, however, reiterated that construction would be completed this June but tests on facilities could be delayed. Its staff said the airport should be opened within this year but they declined to specify the exact month.

The caretaker government had earlier set the deadline for the opening of Suvarnabhumi international airport for this July.