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Court dismisses Suvarnabhumi Airport noise pollution case


BANGKOK, Feb 29 – Thailand's Central Administrative Court on Wednesday dismissed the request of residents living near the country's main airport seeking an injunction to temporarily ban nighttime flying to reduce noise pollution.

The court's decision came as the first plaintiff, Sanun Worasooksri, and 359 others filed a lawsuit against Airports of Thailand (AoT) for negligence of duty in the implementation of measures to minimise environmental impacts from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The plaintiffs complained that the defendants have not adopted nighttime flying restrictions to relieve noise pollution. They seek a court injunction to enforce the ban on nighttime flying until the AoT can apply relief measures to move residents in affected areas and to renovate buildings affected by noise and vibration.

They also want construction of the third and the fourth runways to be put on hold until an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is conducted and reported to the National Environment Commission for its consideration.

Judge Wasana Chantaraporn however said the court dismissed the case as the two new runways are not yet in use as AoT must still conduct additional studies on the environmental impacts before they can open as stated in the Cabinet resolution made on Nov 21, 2006.

Therefore, the judge said, AoT is not considered as being negligence of its duty.

Residents’ representative Areeya Mahathamkij said that despite the case dismissal by the court, it has no impact on the residents living around the airport as their move was a preliminary filing.

Ms Areeya said the Suvarnabhumi neighbourhood dwellers will continue to file suit against the AoT regarding the excessive number of passengers which exceeded the figure required in the environmental impact report. (MCOT online news)
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