BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Aviation authorities have refused to extend an international safety certificate for Bangkok's new international airport, a senior official said Saturday, dealing another blow to the problem-plagued facility.
With runway and tarmac repairs at Suvarnabhumi airport still under way, the Department of Civil Aviation decided Friday not to renew its interim safety certificate, which expired a day earlier. The airport can, however, continue to operate without the license.
Somchai Sawasdeepon, the airport's general manager, said the airport also has yet to set up a safety committee as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization because authorities are "busy resolving other problems."
The issue will be discussed at the next board meeting, Somchai said, adding that he was confident the certificate will be renewed after the safety committee has been established.
Local newspapers have reported that some foreign pilots raised concerns about safety issues at the Suvarnabhumi, but Somchai said such fears were not voiced at a meeting of airline representatives on Friday.
The International Civil Aviation Organization has made it a requirement for international airports to hold an Aerodrome Certificate -- aimed at standardizing global airport operations. Suvarnabhumi can nonetheless continue to operate without the certificate because it has yet to incorporate that requirement into law.
The airport was enmeshed in one corruption scandal after another during its construction, and since its opening last September problems have surfaced ranging from an inadequate number of toilets to cracks on taxiways leading to the runway. Probes are being carried out into a number of corrupt deals related to the facility.
Don't use this news to generalize that corruption in government projects is rampant. It does exist, as it does in the US also.
The wisest decision for the Thai government to me would be to re-open the old international airport in Bangkok till the new one is repaired. The chances of a crash due to the trouble at the new airport is remote, but why plan russian roulette with hundreds of passengers lifes?
Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Pirate's Cove,