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Phuket airport runway repairs cause delays, diverted flights

Phuket airport runway repairs cause delays, diverted flights

PHUKET: All flights at Phuket International Airport were suspended yesterday afternoon (July 3) while emergency repairs were made to the runway.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 4 July 2022, 08:30AM

Pilots first reported at around 12:40pm that a section of the runway where aircraft land was damaged, explained Pakin Sirichan of Airports of Thailand (AoT) Phuket.

All flights were suspended while an inspection was carried out, and confirmed that a patch of runway measuring four square metres had been damaged, he said.

The suspension left five flights in a holding pattern waiting to land, Mr Pakin added.

The runway was then closed from 1pm-1:30pm while emergency repairs were made, after which the five flights were allowed to land, Mr Pakin said.

However, the runway ‒ designated Runway 27 despite the airport having only one runway ‒ was closed to all traffic again from 5pm to 7pm as it needed more comprehensive repairs to allow normal operations to resume, Mr Pakin explained.

Pilots of all inbound flights and flight operators at Phuket airport were informed of the temporary closure ahead of time to allow any changes in flight schedules, he added.

The Phuket News was informed that some flights were diverted to Krabi.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew arrived at the airport yesterday evening to be briefed on the situation.

Many flights had been delayed, leaving many passengers to wait patiently at the airport.

Normal operations at the airport resumed at about 7:20pm, but by that time the flights that had been delayed had to be scheduled to take off or land while allowing the other flights scheduled for throughout the night to continue. Some passengers had to wait hours.

Governor Narong expressed his appreciation of how the situation was handled.

“After being informed, a Vice Governor came down first and then I came down to help,” Governor Narong said.

“The staff had resolved the problem excellently. It must be appreciated when an abnormality is found and the problem is resolved immediately,” he added.

“I would like to commend all operators,” Governor Narong said.

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Kurt | 05 July 2022 - 14:35:39

@pooliekev, really? On what facts is your opinion based that Phuket runway repair is done satisfactory and not substandard like pot holes on Phuket roads? Well, time will teach. Patching run ways is temporarely. The runway needs a complete overhaul.

Pooliekev | 05 July 2022 - 13:26:25

So many old and bitter commenters on here. The job is now done satisfactorily. 

christysweet | 05 July 2022 - 10:02:51

Runoff ditches all over the world are paved over in concrete- the sirport was cited as at fault  for the open ditch. Is it still there? My guess is yes, the airport would need to be closed down  for the duration of the construction. Ability to think forward strikes again. 

christysweet | 05 July 2022 - 09:57:41

The NTSB report  states that ditch contributed  to the severity of the casualities-sliding off into it caused     wing fracture and fuel ignited. The cause of the crash was literally no one was flying the plane in a severe weather event a  result of poor training and lax safety culture at the airline. See InvestigateUdom.com

Fascinated | 04 July 2022 - 13:13:56

How did the Gov 'help'- or is he a qualified airfield damage engineer? Just another arrow in his quiver!

maverick | 04 July 2022 - 12:38:59

Christy@ the ditch did not contribute to the crash as I recall it did however hamper rescue efforts as vehicles could not traverse the ditch - they used wrong entry point to the accident scene - poor training and rescue planning - ditch is probably essential to drainage must be a lot of run off during heavy rains.

Kurt | 04 July 2022 - 09:39:36

And Phuket Airport is lucky that  the normal arriving/departure pattern is not yet back at pre pandemic levels. Imagine what a passenger chaos would it have been in that case. This is bad publicity for Phuket Airport. It is a 1 runway airport. Than runway must be daiy inspected and always in tip yop condition.

christysweet | 04 July 2022 - 09:13:59

Just a reminder- no one was ever indicted for the 1-2 Go crash of 2008, and a ditch next to the runway was a contributing factor to the severity of the crash. People burned to death. I bet that ditch is still  there. They also had no water in the fire trucks, having used it all   a few days prior in a drill. Thailand is cheap- for a reason. 

JohnC | 04 July 2022 - 09:07:06

Two years of hardly being used during the pandemic you would think would have be a good time to do any maintenance the runway required. What did they do all that time? Twiddle their thumbs in boredom. Play with their dumbphones. Bai ha mia noi! 555

Kurt | 04 July 2022 - 08:52:42

A V/G and Governor came down to help? What 'help' was that? Commend staff/all operators? With what? It were pilots who reported damaged runway, not airport staff who are responsible for runway check up and maintenance. And, oh Governor, lack of inspections and maintenance is indeed a 'abnormality'.


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