AOT works to reopen runway at Suvarnabhumi after Thai accident

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Airports of Thailand (AOT) plans to fully reopen the eastern runway at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport on 11 September, which has been affected by an accident in which a Thai Airways Airbus A330-300 ran off the runway on the evening of 8 September.

The aircraft's nosewheel collapsed in the accident, causing significant damage to the underside and engines of the A330, leaving it immobilised next to the eastern runway.

AoT says that in the accident the runway sustained scuff marks 0.5m (1.64ft) wide, 0.1m deep and 350m long, which have since been repaired. However, the immobilised aircraft is obstructing the runway, reducing the usable length to 2,000m. This limits operations to aircraft up to the size of Boeing 737s and A320s.

The airport is working with Thai Airways to facilitate the removal of the stricken aircraft from the runway area, and plans to have the runway fully operational by midday local time on 11 September.

The airport's western runway has remained operational, but the added congestion has caused some delays to both departing and arriving aircraft. Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports have been readied to handle traffic diverting from Suvarnabhumi, AOT adds.

The airport operator says a long-term solution to the runway issue is to build an additional 3,000m secondary runway at the airport, which it resolved to do in June 2013. AOT said in 2012 that it envisioned building two new runways at Suvarnabhumi to support the long-term growth of the airport, but has not yet put a timeline on when they will be built.