Protestors agree to allow flights to Bangkok airport


Bangkok : Anti-government protestors Tuesday agreed to allow flights to resume at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which they have held under a siege for a week, but refused to end their protests at the facility, media reports said.

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The agreement was announced by Somkiat Pongpaibool, a leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and Vudhibhandhu Vichairatana, chairman of the Airports of Thailand (AoT), following their meeting Tuesday afternoon, said The Nation online news service.

Flights will resume after AoT technical officials check the technical readiness of all systems, said Somkiat.

He added that the PAD would allocate a zone for its demonstrations to continue without affecting the passengers.

Vudhibhandhu said airport authorities would try to resume services within 24 hours.

The PAD agreed to reopen the airport to flights shortly after Thailand’s Constitution Court dissolved the ruling People Power Party and two of its coalition partners on charges of vote-buying during the Dec 23, 2007, polls.

The verdict was deemed a victory for the PAD which has been seeking the overthrow of the government for the past six months, in demonstrations that culminated last week with the seizure of Bangkok’s two international class airports – Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, the old airport.

The closure has caused the country incalculable damage to its tourism and export industries.

Air cargo alone has suffered 86 million dollars in losses daily.