Prevention of Don Mueang blackout recurrence discussed today

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BANGKOK, Oct 15 – Don Mueang Airport administrators called a meeting with the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and commercial airlines today to work out blackout prevention measures following a power failure on Sunday morning which delayed 15 flights.

Airport director Paranee Watthanothai reaffirmed that Don Mueang has followed an engineering standard which requires a power backup by 30 per cent.

She said Don Mueang officials have been instructed to conduct a thorough survey on electricity allocation to all spots and airline check-in counters to ensure sufficiency for overall use.

The 30-minute power blackout on Sunday, starting at 4.50am, delayed 15 flights, each for 20-25 minutes—an error which Ms Paranee described as “acceptable.”

She said airlines at Don Mueang did not make claims seeking damage reimbursements. Nine AirAsia flights and six Nok Air flights were delayed.

Describing the power blackout as a force majeure, a natural event over which the human mechanisms had no control, MEA deputy director for business service Sombat Chankrachang said it was caused by lightning which struck the ground connection at an electricity post.

The ground connection was switched to a nearby alternate connection within seconds, he said, adding that it will take a week to fix the damaged ground connection.

Don Mueang resumed full operations for budget airlines Oct 1 when AirAsia, Thailand’s largest low-cost airline, moved from Suvarnabhumi international airport.