A legislative panel that inspected the site on Jan. 21 said the construction of the tarmac may have been substandard, adding to a lengthening list of problems surrounding Suvarnabhumi's launchincluding widespread graft allegationsand prompting Thailand's Transport Ministry to order an independent inquiry into the cracks. IOT, the Thai-Japanese contractor for the airfield surface, denied any defects in construction, blaming the damage on excess groundwater from recent floods seeping under the concrete.
Airport officials say the cracks pose no risk to planes landing or taking off. But repairing the taxiways means closing gates, adding to congestion at an airport already operating near capacity. One contingency plan: reopening Don Muang International Airport, the creaky terminal that Suvarnabhumi replaced, to regular domestic flights. It may be old, but at least it's stable.