Chiang Rai Airport will reopen on Friday, Aug 5th, after a damaged Nok Air plane was removed from the runway, Airports of Thailand reports.
Airports of Thailand and the Department of Airports had cleared the Chiang Rai Airport runway after a Nok Air Boeing 737-800 skidded off on July 30. The accident caused flight cancellations, and the airport shut down until today.
Before the airport reopened, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand completed a safety inspection of the runway.
The plane’s removal was delayed as it was difficult to move without causing more damage to its wings, according to Chiang Rai Airport Director Sqn Ldr Somchanok Tiamtiabrat.
Nok Air and airport staff contacted Thai Airways International (THAI) to send licensed engineers and equipment to remove the stranded plane. The recovery team was careful not to cause further damage to the 60-tonne aircraft or runway.
According to the Thai Airways team, the operation went according to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s regulation on aircraft removal. The Boeing 737-800 was now safely parked at a pit stop, about 600 meters from the initial position.
The airline’s chief executive Wutthiphum Jurangkool said all passengers on the flight would receive refunds and free tickets. He said all passengers would receive round-trip tickets that are valid for a year and can request refunds, cancellations, or destination changes without charge.
In addition, Mr. Wutthiphum defended the pilot of the aircraft. He said the pilot did his best to land the aircraft without causing any deaths or injuries.
He has been a pilot for 15 years, and the co-pilot has been with Nok Air for three years. Every step of the evacuation was conducted following safety protocols.”