Air force Kantarat golf course out, Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport runway link in

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A putting green at Kantarat Golf Course, also known as Sanam Ngu (‘Field of Snakes’). (Photo: Kantarat Golf Course Facebook account)

Air force Kantarat golf course out, Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport runway link in

Airports of Thailand (AoT) might have to pay at least three billion baht in compensation to the air force if it decides to adopt the area that is currently home to the air force’s Kantarat Golf Course, said Defence Ministry spokesman Jirayu Houngsub on Tuesday.

AoT announced its readiness to repurpose the land between the runways of Don Mueang airport during Tuesday’s meeting with the ad hoc committee on armed forces business transfers.

Earlier, the AoT had said it would not touch the golf course as the space was not worth developing.

However, in a recent change of heart, it said the area could host walkways that would link the two runways.

Air Vice Marshal Tanachai Arkatwattana, RTAF Director of Welfare, said that a three-billion-baht figure was calculated for a 30-year contract based on a 90-100-million-baht yearly compensation the AoT is to pay the Air Force.

Later that day, Minister of Transport Suriya Juangroongruangkit met with Air Chief Marshal Phanpakdee Pattanakul to discuss the handover of the course, saying that he supported the government’s “Aviation Hub” policy.

Mr Suriya said that the use of the space would benefit civil aviation by increasing Don Mueang airport’s flight capacity from 55 to 65 flights per hour.

The minister also gave an update on a ring road, which will cut through an area of the air force’s Wing 41 in Chiang Mai province.

Options include adjusting the existing road by adding security measures, using some parts of the existing road, and using the original road with an underpass to be constructed through Wing 41’s space.