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Chiang Rai Airport to Reopen Aug 3 After Nok Air Accident



Chiang Rai Airport Closed Until Aug 3 after Botched Nok Air Landing

Airports of Thailand (AOT) have announced Chiang Rai Airport will be closed until Wednesday due to a Nok Air 737 passenger jet skidding off the runway on Saturday.

During heavy rain on Saturday, Nok Air Flight DD108 skidded off the runway as it attempted to land at Chiang Rai’s Mae Fah Luang International Airport.

According to Nok Air, the incident did not result in any injuries to the 164 passengers or crew members.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand prompted AOT authorities to close the airport until 10pm yesterday. The move affected 15 flights to and from Chiang Rai.

The CAAT said the airport would remain closed until 10pm on Wednesday, meaning more flights would be cancelled until the airport is reopened.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said the Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation Committee (AAIIC) would investigate in response to the incident.

All individuals involved in the incident, including airline, airport and air traffic controller staff, will have to be questioned, Mr. Saksayam said.

Read: Gunman in Chiang Rai Kills 3 People, Including 4-Year-Old

Wutthiphum Jurangkool, Nok Air CEO, said yesterday that the airline is investigating complaints concerning the incident, most of which relate to luggage delays.

AAIIC investigation rules banned the airline from removing any items from the jet’s cargo hold or overhead compartment for about a day, making it impossible for passengers to access their luggage.

From yesterday evening, passengers could check in at the Nok Air counters at the Chiang Rai airport to claim their bags.

In Facebook comments on Saturday, some passengers said they were forced to wait for a long time inside the stricken plane, which had it’s air conditioning turned off, without adequate explanation from the crew.

Wuttiphum said that emergency protocols made the crew turn off the jet’s engines to minimize the risk of fire when the plane skidded off the runway.

He also assured affected passengers they would be able to change flights for no additional cost or get a full refund.

He said that passengers on DD108 will also receive a free round-trip ticket to Chiang Rai.

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