6 June 2024

The Ministry of Transport has brushed aside a suggestion, by the Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) based on a recommendation from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), that it should postpone plans to build a 42-billion baht second terminal for Suvarnabhumi international airport.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said yesterday that the second terminal is necessary, but he would take into consideration the NACC’s recommendation, to ensure that the project is transparent.

He said that he is a forward-looking person and is fully aware of the corruption problem because, in his capacity as the minister, he will be held accountable if graft in the project is uncovered.

Saksayam said that he has not seen the AOT’s letter, addressed to him, voicing concerns about the project, adding that he would like the NACC to examine all the projects implemented by the his ministry.

A number of other major infrastructure projects have been rife with corruption and the ministers responsible face legal consequences.

Earlier, the Association of Siamese Architects voiced opposition to the second terminal, proposed by the Airports of Thailand Company, which is affiliated with the Transport Ministry, saying it will not benefit passengers or ease overcrowding.

The project was put on hold in 2019, by then Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, after a review by the National Economic and Social Development Council.

The original blueprints for the airport included plans for another terminal, located to the south of the main terminal. In the new plan, proposed by the AOT, the second terminal will be located closer to the main terminal and there will be a monorail line to shuttle passengers between the two.