The navy admiral appointed to the interim Pattaya City Council proposed that the city allocate a budget to prepare Bali Hai Pier for a military-sponsored boat show the navy wants to host next year.
Adm. Srivisut Rodakul again plugged the idea of Pattaya hosting the International Navy Fleet Show featuring military vessels from Thailand’s Southeast Asian neighbors Nov. 13-22, 2017.
He said more than 6,000 naval officers from 30 countries could participate. In addition to a display of ships, activities could include practice drills, meetings between foreign naval forces, exhibitions, parades.
In a January presentation to the former city council, Adm. Poldej Charoenpol, a special advisor to the Sattahip Naval Base, claimed the show would draw tourists to Pattaya and allow foreign countries to showcase their naval capabilities and promote their countries.
The city’s then leaders proved cool to the idea and did not propose any funding. The navy is trying again with the new junta-appointed council.
Bali Hai, however, is not near ready to host such an event. As Acting Mayor Chanapong Sriviset told the council members, 25 million baht already has been allocated to urgently repair the pier, which is showing more than a few signs of age.
Srivisut did not disclose exactly how much funding he was seeking for the navy-backed event. But he said Bali Hai needs urgent development to host such events and must be able to accommodate large numbers of marine vessels.
In addition, he also wants a new two-story building constructed to be a coordination center for marine officials to manage traffic at sea.
Chanapong, however, said the existing structure at the pier is sufficient to manage current traffic and no new technology has been added that would require a new building.
The admiral also said he’d request funding for more parking areas, as they are crucial to the fleet show as the navy is expecting tens of thousands of people to attend.
Fellow council member, Pol. Maj. Gen. Anan Charoenchasri, agreed parking is crucial and said any development of the pier must be done hand-in-hand with parking facilities.