Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat said yesterday the armed forces had asked Cambodian officials to confirm a media report that their soldiers fired at a Bangkok Airways aircraft that was unable to land at Siem Reap airport because of bad weather on Wednesday night.
"Cambodia denied the report," the minister said.
"When they insisted they didn't open fire and since our plane was not damaged, there is nothing more to say," the defence minister said.
He said it would be difficult to find evidence to back the allegation because there was no damage to the plane.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday she had also tried verifying the report with both the Thai and Cambodian armed forces, as well as with local authorities, but they all denied the alleged incident took place.
Even Bangkok Airways has confirmed there was no shooting, Ms Yingluck added.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Cambodian deputy defence minister Nieng Pad has also told the Thai ambassador to Cambodia that there was no gunfire.
However, a Cambodia unit commander, Col Seng Phearin, insisted on Thursday the incident did take place.
"It was dark so we could not see what type of plane it was. But it was circling many times and then our soldiers fired 18 shots from a machine gun, but it missed the plane because it was flying very high," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, aviation experts including veteran pilots said Thai and international airlines should suspend flights to Cambodia because of the serious safety threat reportedly posed by Cambodian soldiers.
They said the suspension of air services is necessary until the issue is clarified and resolved.
International and Thai civil aviation authorities need to respond quickly to deal with this alleged "outrageous" action by Cambodian soldiers.
If they don't they could be putting passengers and aircraft at extreme risk, they told the Bangkok Post on condition of anonymity.
If the reported incident is true and they fired because they "thought the aircraft was as spy plane", this would be a breach of international practice - that the identity and mission of the aircraft is requested and a warning to the pilots is issued first.
"No shots should be fired until it is absolutely clear what they are dealing with," said a veteran Thai pilot with 36 years of flying experience around the world.
"Like we see in Hollywood movies, if they are unsure of what is up there they should send up a jet fighter to intercept the aircraft and order the pilots to land or risk being shot down," he explained.
The reasons the Cambodian troops gave in the report for opening fire on the Thai passenger plane were called into question on other grounds as well.
First, although there are tensions between Thailand and Cambodia, they are not technically at war and existing strained relations do not warrant harsh and immediate military action such as shooting at an aircraft.
Also it is unclear whether the skies where the Bangkok Airways plane was circling while awaiting clearance to land at Siem Reap airport is a "restricted zone". Bad weather or not, Thai pilots who fly this route would have known this in the first place.
If the incident is true or if the officer maintains the incident is true, then the Thai government should not allow the issue to rest without lodging a strong protest with Phnom Penh.
"If I were the owner of Bangkok Airways, I would not hesitate in suspending flights to Cambodia until the whole issue is resolved," another senior Thai pilot said.
He added that he would refuse to fly an aircraft to Cambodia if he was asked to do so today.
"In aviation, we never compromise on safety," he added.
Bangkok Airways executives could not be reached for comment yesterday, but an airline official last night said the airline's scheduled services from Bangkok to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, and whose passengers are mostly foreigners, remain unchanged.