Thailand – and certainly thousands of passengers still caught in crossfire of prolonged civil protest, especially in the capital Bangkok – are now heaving a sigh of relief as Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports prepare to open tomorrow, December 4. Members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who had been occupying Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang since November 25 (and earlier, Parliament house), agreed to end their siege after the country’s highest court banned the prime minister from public office for five years and dissolved the ruling party for election fraud. This brought an end to their 192-day protest action.
The development comes on the eve of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 81st birthday on December 5.
While commercial flights remain grounded up until the announcement, cargo, military and emergency flights resumed yesterday afternoon at Suvarnabhumi. Serirat Prasutanont, Airports of Thailand (AoT) acting president and Suvarnabhumi airport director, said the AoT had asked a joint military-police force to inspect the compound of Suvarnabhumi airport after the PAD has left. Then, the Airline and Department of Civil Aviation staff will check equipment and make sure the facility meets international safety standards.
The PAD, however, warned the government that should it be perceived as amending the Constitution or law, it would return to the rally sites.
Business Traveller will continue to update its readers whever information becomes available.
Margie T Logarta