Don Mueang Airport clarifies status of grounded aircraft on flooded runway

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BANGKOK, Nov 3 – The aircraft that were left surrounded by floodwater at Don Mueang Airport are decommissioned, but some still usable, according to airport director Group Captain Kantpat Mangalasiri.

He said post-flood damage estimates and rehabilitation would be carried out by airlines and related agencies once the water recedes.

Two Thai Airways International (THAI) Airbus A300-600 parked outside a hangar have water covering their wheels. Capt Kantpat said both planes were used for over 20 years, decommissioned and are awaiting resale.

However, 1st Lt Wuttichai Saguanmoo, THAI’s Heavy Maintenance Department director, said the company had covered the wheelbases with plastic. The water level is currently higher than the wheelbase, but it can be reusable as it is made of metal.

He explained that even if the water level rose another 1.5 metres and submerges the aircraft body, no damage will be caused, for it is built of metal. But he admitted all parts must be reconditioned to be used again.

Regarding Orient Thai Airlines which also had aircraft at Don Mueang, Capt Kantpat said all four aircraft were decommissioned, but three of them remain usable. Their wheelbases are flooded but can be repaired. Further estimates will be made after the water recedes.