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Airport director hits back: Don Mueang has no taxi mafia!

The director of operations at Bangkok’s number two airport Don Mueang has hit back at suggestions that they are running a taxi mafia.

Suthirarat Suwannawat said that everything is above board and for the benefit of passengers.

But he has said that next year the busy airport will be adopting a new system more like that in operation at Suvarnabhumi.

Claims made by the Office of the Auditor General that irregular charges were being demanded were nonsense, he said. A report for the Auditor General is being prepared.

Suthirarat said that taxi drivers were required to pay 100 baht at his airport to register. They got a card with a chip that helped track who they were and ensured the safety of the travelling public, he said.

He admitted they were charged a 10 baht “parking fee” each time they picked up passengers. This was because the airport itself rented a holding area from another agency where cars parked before they were needed to pick up passengers.

It was not possible for drivers just to arrive and pick up passengers as there needed to be a system in place to ensure order.

There was no truth to rumors that drivers were charged 50 baht for first time use of the airport.

“There is no mafia operation here,” he said. “It is all above board and for the benefit of passenger safety and convenience”.

He added that there were changes in the air, however. A new system modeled on what happens at Suvarnabhumi is set to be introduced at the end of the year.

Tenders for two separate operators of the new system are being requested from April.

Thai Visa /Daily News

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