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AOT might have to meet cost of repairs

BackMay 03, 2007

Airports of Thailand may have to meet the cost of repairs to runways and taxiways at Suvarnabhumi airport because the damage is not covered by the contractor's insurance, an AoT source said yesterday. The airport operator took out property insurance for the passenger terminal, but did not do the same for the runways and taxiways because it considered the contractor's two-year insurance cover to be sufficient, the source said.

AoT was also under pressure to open the airport last September, and at the time could not afford the 20-million-baht a year insurance premium for the airside, or areas used for loading, unloading, take-offs and landings.

''The contractor's insurance covers only damage resulting from construction,'' the source said.

''If there are other reasons for the damage, AoT will have to meet the cost.''

Reports have laid the blame for cracks in some surfaces of runways, taxiways and taxilanes at Suvarnabhumi airport on excessive water underground.

The cracked areas cover about 78,000 square metres and repair costs were earlier estimated at 300 million to 500 million baht.

The expiry dates of the contractor's two-year insurance policy vary for different sections of the airside that were completed at different times. The expiry dates range from August to December this year.

Apart from partial property insurance and the contractor's insurance for the airside, Suvarnabhumi airport has third-party insurance for its overall compound.

A source from IOT Joint Venture, the airside contractor, confirmed that the contractor's insurance covered only damage proved to be caused by the joint venture. The lack of property insurance for the airside was a risk for AoT.

An AoT source said a main problem was the delay in giving contractors access to damaged areas so they could make repairs. This happened only on April 19 because AoT insisted on having experts verify the causes of cracks that were discovered only in January.

The AoT board will meet today and on the agenda is a plan to hire experts from the International Civil Aviation Organisation to study both single and dual airport concepts for Bangkok.

The cost is quoted at 393 million baht and the study will be concluded next February.

The AoT management will also ask the board to approve an increase in the overall cost of Suvarnabhumi airport's construction from 121.39 billion baht to 125.73 billion baht.


Source: Bangkokpost
Thursday May 03, 2007