Restarting Bangkok's $4 billion Suvarnabhumi airport will take at least a week from the end of the current sit-in by protesters because of security and IT system checks, its general manager said on Monday.
Anti-government protesters have ignored a police order to end their blockade of Bangkok's main airport, which entered its seventh day Monday.
"Normally, checking the IT systems takes one week. We have to check, recheck, check, recheck," Serirat Prasutanond told Reuters, adding that the delay would probably be even longer as some of complex's massive computers might need repair.
"I think some systems are damaged," he said, but declined to give further details.
Once Airports of Thailand has done all its checks, the Department of Civil Aviation and the airlines themselves have to do their own system verification before normal operations can resume, Serirat said.
It is not known how long those third-party checks will take.
I am not an airline industry expert, but I think it will take more than a couple weeks to resolve the airport problems, even if the PAD decides to retreat quickly.
1. I think there will be class action law suits. There could be suits against the airlines, the AoT, etc. I don't think AoT has sovereign immunity.
2. I don't know how foreign airlines are going to handle their insurance problems, considering that Suvarnabhumi has shown itself to be vulnerable to terrorism.
3. The Thai government will have to demonstrate to the international community that this will never happen again. Thailand has already violated international treaties in this instance concerning international travel and airport security.
4. Security experts are going to have to be brought in and go over the entire airport with a fine tooth comb to make sure that there are no bombs or weapons caches stashed anywhere.
5. All the computers and any other structural and material damage will be have to be fixed if they are broken or destroyed.
6. If AoT does have insurance for terrorism, insurrection, it may be able to collect, but then there will have to be an investigation.
I am not saying that all these things can't be resolved in one way or another, but I don't see how it can all be done in a week.