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Old 02-12-2011, 09:03 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Bangkok Post : Airport head defends staff

Airport head defends staff

Cars moved to make way for flood relief The director of Don Mueang Airport yesterday defended his staff who moved cars from the second floor of the airport's parking garage to the ground level, only to see them flooded.

This is what happened to the cars that were moved.

Don Mueang Airport director Kanpat Mangkhalasiri was responding to complaints through the media that people's vehicles had been left in floodwater in the airport compound although they had originally been parked properly on the second floor of the car park building at Terminal 2 to avoid floodwater.Capt Kanpat said between 30 and 50 vehicles had been towed away because they were blocking and preventing flood relief logistics efforts. The vehicles were moved to the ground floor before floodwater started washing into the Don Mueang Airport compound.

"No one has complained directly to AoT [Airports of Thailand Plc]," he said. "Motorists parked their vehicles at Don Mueang Airport and more than 100 vehicles were flooded. They understand the situation and have accepted it."

Transport Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said yesterday the AoT would investigate the complaint.

He did not say whether the AoT should be responsible for the flood-damaged vehicles.

A total of 166 vehicles were still on the ground floor at Don Mueang airport yesterday and they are in the process of being salvaged.

Deputy police chief Pongsapat Pongcharoen took a team of mechanics and insurance company staff to salvage the vehicles.

He said vehicles with first-class auto insurance would be towed and repaired for free and vehicles with less insurance coverage or without would be towed to garages for free.

The vehicles towed down from the car park building would get the same treatment, Pol Gen Pongsapat said.

Police will also wash the vehicles that were flooded in the airport for free, he said.

Panthep Chaiparinya from the General Insurance Association said most vehicles on the ground at the airport were inundated and repairing them would take more than a month.

Panumas Saksongmuang said he had left his car at the airport on Oct 20 in the belief that it would be safe from floods because the government's Flood Relief Operations Command was located there. Then he and his family went to Lamphun.

On Oct 30 he was shocked when the government ordered the car owners to move vehicles from the airport.

Mr Panumas said travel difficulties prevented him from retrieving his car from the airport. He said he would have to gradually buy used parts to repair his car because he could not afford an immediate full repair.

He asked the government to arrange for cheap parts and garages with reasonable prices for flood-affected motorists.

Drying out

Receding floodwaters have cleared areas around the hangar at Don Mueang airport. Salvaging the airport is expected to be an arduous task involving large mobilisation of manpower and budget. The water levels in areas surrounding the old airport are slowly returning to normal. RATTASEEMA PONGSAN
"Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar
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