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Suvarnabhumi » Thai Airways to compensate Suvarnabhumi for plane’s runway damage

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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Thai Airways International (THAI) has agreed to compensate Suvarnabhumi airport for damage caused to a runway by one of its aircraft earlier this month, Suvarnabhumi airport director Serirat Prasutatnont said yesterday. The aircraft in question, an Airbus A300-600 which arrived from Phuket, caused the damage when it momentarily slid off the runway at Suvarnabhumi airport during heavy rain at around 5.30pm on July 7. But the pilot never reported the incident, Mr Serirat said.

The plane partly missed the runway and smashed some runway lights. Its left rear wheels slid off of the runway and ran on the grass beside the tarmac, leaving behind a track about 100 metres long in the soil. However, its pilot managed to bring the aircraft back onto the runway and stop safely at the B4 parking bay.

About an hour later, the pilot of a Thai AirAsia flight informed the control tower of dirt tracks on the eastern runway. The runway was then closed from 7pm on July 7 to 6am the following morning for maintenance and inspection. The pilot of the Thai Airways flight reportedly failed to inform the Airports of Thailand (AOT) of the incident.

The Thai Airways flight smudged the tarmac as mud was spread all over its left rear wheels and the underneath of its fuselage.

The plane also smashed four sets of runway lamps. The repair of the lamps cost the Airports of Thailand 72,800 baht on top of 98,000 baht required for cleaning the eastern runway.

Mr Serirat said the Airports of Thailand has written to Thai Airways seeking compensation and the national carrier has agreed to take financial responsibility for the damage.

Airports of Thailand board member and spokesman Chirmsak Pinthong said the board had ordered an investigation into the incident which proved the problem did not stem from any runway defect.  (Bkk Post)

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