Residents say they are opposed to Chiang Mai International Airport's plan to open around the clock, citing sleep disruption from constant aircraft noise over their homes.
Their opposition was voiced at a public hearing held on Sunday for residents in communities near the airport in tambon Mae Hia in Muang district of Chiang Mai.
The hearing at the Mae Hia municipal auditorium was attended by Chiang Mai airport director Wg Cdr Ronnakorn Chalermsanyakorn and Thanawat Yodjai, head of the Mae Hia municipality.
The plan to keep the airport open 24-hours, tentatively set to begin on Nov 1, drew opposition from the majority of residents at the forum.
They complained they were troubled enough as it was with the airport currently opening 18 hours a day. Many say they suffer from sleep deprivation caused by noise pollution and vibration from aircraft taking off and landing. Roof tiles on homes were damaged as a result of the vibration, the forum was told.
The residents said they could not imagine how much more they can endure if the airport was to operate around the clock.
Also, the grief they have suffered so far has not been adequately compensated for.
The airport wants to extend operations to 24 hours to cope with rising air traffic to the province, which is witnessing a post-pandemic upswing in tourism and the upcoming start of the tourism season next month.
Wg Cdr Ronnakorn said Chiang Mai airport is managing about 150 flights daily, 115 of which are domestic and the rest international.
Once the airport starts operating around the clock, there will be flights to fill slots in the early hours, he said.
Wg Cdr Ronnakorn gave his assurance that the issues which people are concerned about with will be handled promptly. Feedback and input from the Sunday hearing will be forwarded to airport executives for consideration.
Another public hearing on the subject is also taking place today, this time involving residents in tambon Suthep, who also live close to the airport.