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Local residents protest Chiang Mai airport’s 24/7 plans

PHOTO: Trip Savvy

From tomorrow, Chiang Mai International Airport plans to operate around the clock – but not everyone’s happy about it. Residents from the nearby sub-district of Mae Hia are protesting the extended hours, saying many are still waiting to be compensated for damage caused by flights landing and taking off over the last 5 years.

More flights heading over their properties at all hours of the day and night won’t help their situation either.

Meena Chankaew, President of the Nimman Noradee Neighbourhood, says many homes adjacent to the airport have been affected by arriving and departing flights and residents plan to petition the Administrative Court to stop the 24/7 operations that are slated to begin tomorrow.

According to Meena, many residents have already made their feelings known about the excessive noise and vibration caused by aircraft taking off and landing, adding that Airports of Thailand has done little to resolve the issue.

The Bangkok Post reports that Meena herself lives next to the airport and says that in the last 5 years, she has received compensation of 20,000 baht for damage to her home, but nothing has been done to solve the problem long term.

Yesterday, October 30, airport officials and representatives from AoT met with local residents and pledged to address their concerns. During the talks, they agreed to create a fund for compensating residents for any damage caused, to offer hearing tests for local residents, and to erect sensors to gauge the noise coming from the airport.

(It’s understood they also promised to open a shop at the airport that would sell products made by local residents…)

Despite the promises, people are not happy. Meena says airport bosses have failed to explain how residents will be able to access the compensation fund. She adds that locals are also calling for a new environmental impact assessment to be carried out with 24/7 operations in mind, pointing out that the last EIA, approved in 2005, was based on the airport operating until 1am only.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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