Irked residents around Bangkok airport threaten to "seize the sky"

Other News Materials 17 February 2008 07:09 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Home owners in the vicinity of Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport have threatened to "seize the sky" on February 23 with balloons and rockets to pressure authorities into compensating them for noise pollution, media reports said Sunday.

"We have waited more than one year and four months since the airport came into operation but we have not seen any results from our complaints," said Prasert Boonkeow, one irked resident among the many in 32 communities affected by noise pollution exceeding 70 decibels around Suvarabhumi Airport, which opened in September 2006.

The airport's neighbours have been pressuring the Airports of Thailand (AOT), the state agency that runs Suvarnabhumi, to buy their houses from them or halt night flights at the international airport to allow them to get some sleep.

AOT has thus far balked at the home-purchase proposal, which would cost an estimated 167 billion baht (5.1 billion dollars), but has offered to repair homes and compensate homeowners to the tune of 13 billion baht (400 million), deemed insufficient by the noise-plagued residents, the Bangkok Post newspaper said.

Last month, the airport's angry neighbours released 100 balloons into the sky at night, delaying flights for two hours and costing the airport more than 19 million baht (584,615 dollars) in compensation fees to airlines.

Next Saturday the airport communities have threatened to both release balloons and launch home-made rockets to make their complaints heard.