Luxury Factory Outlet Mall to Open at Bangkok Airport Despite Ongoing Issue with Authorities

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Thailand, airport, shopping, AOT

A new commercial development at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport fostered by Thailand.s largest real estate developer Central Pattana Plc (CPN) is getting into trouble. The company is fighting with the Airports Authority of Thailand which is blocking the centre’s opening, probably to its own benefit…

Central Pattana Plc (CPN), developer of Suvarnabhumi newest commercial development, Central Village, is facing incredible difficulties to open its newest development project. The investment, located along the Highway 370 that connects Bang Na-Trat Road to Suvarnabhumi airport, is estimated at THB5 billion (US$1.6 billion).

It has been developed over the last two years but was soon the target of the airports’ authority AOT. The company’s President Nitinai Sirismatthakan declared a few days ago that the agency had ordered work at the Central Village site to stop due to various problems for the airport’s authority.

Among the ‘problems’ that Central Village is likely to generate –according to AOT- are additional traffic jam, lighting which could confuse pilots when landing. It has also been said that the height of the buildings was not conform to regulation around the airport. The airport is also claiming that the project was built in a not authorized area.

Central Pattana is claiming that the entire development has been legal as the outlet village has been built on a plot rented from the Treasury Department following all planning regulations. The latter confirmed in early July that some plots encroached on state land. Scheduled to open on Saturday, Airports of Thailand has decided to block the entrance to the premises.

CPN received the backing of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s (CAAT). CAAT rebuked AOT claims declaring that Central Village buildings do not violate any rules and/or height requirements and that the outlet’s activities will not disturb flights in any way.

The story is turning into a political issue with Thailand Transport Minister requesting AOT to prove facts to back its claim. The Ministry can feel cautious as AOT complains have already been rejected by CAAT…

CPN declared in a statement that, “the company is determined to making the Central Village project the first international luxury outlet in Thailand.” CPN on Wednesday petitioned the Administrative Court for an injunction against AOT blockade the outlet’s entrance. “If the court cannot protect us, we would ask the police to solve the problem [of the outlet’s entrance]. We also have a back-up plan to resolve the issue,” Preecha Ekkunagul, the company’s president and CEO said yesterday.

“The company is confident that the government can resolve the situation so that cooperation will lead to economic and tourism benefits for the country, and about 170 shops and 1,000 employees can start trading as scheduled,” CPN declared. Once opened, Central Village will be easily accessible from the airport by shuttle bus.