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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           20   August  2011

Struggling Airport Link gets help

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Transport Minister Sukampol Suwannathat has vowed to push for construction of the so-called "Makkasan Complex" in a bid to boost passenger numbers on the Airport Rail Link.

The project at Makkasan BTS station will follow the Chamchuri Square model, a residential and commercial project on Rama IV built above Sam Yan MRT station. Developing the station would help boost its profile as the gateway to the Airport Link, he said.

Supoj Saplom, the transport permanent secretary and chairman of the State Railways of Thailand board, said a consultant will conduct a feasibility study of the 517-rai Makkasan project.

ACM Sukampol also pledged to expand the Airport Rail Link system, which connects inner Bangkok with Suvarnabhumi Airport, to Don Mueang Airport and Rayong province.

BTS and MRT connections to the Airport Rail Link system must also be improved to attract more users, he said. ACM Sukampol said his lobbying campaign will begin after government delivers its policy statement before parliament next week.

The minister yesterday inspected the Airport Rail Link system and insisted a flat-rate ticket price of 20 baht for the MRT, BTS and Airport Rail Link will be introduced as promised.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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