23 May 2024

The Air Force is demanding 3 billion baht in compensation from Airports of Thailand (AOT) for the proposed use of the Kantarat Golf Course, which is located between the airport’s two main runways, for the expansion of Don Mueang international airport, said Jirayu Huangsap, spokesman for the Defence Ministry today.

The House committee on the transfer of military business today invited representatives of the AOT, the Air Force, the Airports Authority of Thailand and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand for a discussion today about AOT taking over the golf course land in Don Mueang for expansion of the airport, said Jirayu, who is also  chairman of the House committee.

Kirati Kitmanawat, AOT president, told the meeting that, for the sake of aviation safety, the takeover of the golf course is necessary.

Even though the International Civil Aviation Organisation had declared that the risk posed to aviation operations at the airport by the golf course was acceptable, Kirati noted that, on several occasions, golfers have breached restrictions by driving golf carts across the taxi ways, despite the warning signals.

He added that the safety of the airport would be further enhanced without the golf course.

Meanwhile, the RTAF representative, Air Vice Marshal Thanachai Arkartwattana, insisted that the golf course meets aviation safety standards and the RTAF has strictly maintained the safety of the airport.

He assessed the golf course value to the RTAF is about 100 million baht per year, so, if the AOT wants to use it for 30 years, then the compensation that the RTAF should receive is about 3 billion baht.

Jirayu said he will complete a report on the issue for submission to the government for consideration.