PUBLISHED : 11 Feb 2024 at 04:00
The air force has agreed to give up its Kantarat Golf Course located between runways of Don Mueang Airport and allow access to some of its other properties for the development of state projects, according to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.
The premier wrote on his social media page expressing his appreciation for the air force’s willingness to cater to the public interest. He said he has had a talk with ACM Punpakdee Pattanakul, commander-in-chief of the air force, and came away with several pieces of good news to share.
Mr Srettha said a joint committee between various parties and the air force will work out ways to hand over Kantarat Golf Course, widely known as Sanam Ngu (field full of snakes), now owned and operated by the air force to the government so the land can be developed for the benefit of the public.
The prime minister said the commander offered to hand over the golf course upon hearing of the aviation upgrade plan the government has in store to expand Don Mueang Airport. The golf course sits in a unique location straddling an area between runways.
Last month, the air force opposed a call by Chetawan Thuaprakhon, a Move Forward Party (MFP) MP for Pathum Thani, to hand over the golf course, fearing workers there might lose their jobs.
Mr Srettha added his conversation with ACM Punpakdee also touched on a revised air force pilot training schedule. The force has agreed to adjust training sessions to reduce their impact on commercial flights at Don Mueang airport on the opposite side of the air force headquarters.
Training flights sometimes cause commercial aircraft to change their departing or landing schedules. The premier said the revised training times, especially when avoiding peak hours, would help ease congestion at the airport.
Also, the air force will open part of its Wing 1 facilities for use by the adjacent commercial airport in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Mr Srettha added the air force will permit the outer ringroad under construction around downtown Chiang Mai to cut through an area of Wing 41. The project will relieve traffic congestion in central Chiang Mai.
He said he also discussed with the air force chief other issues including an improvement in welfare for the rank and file.