AIRLINES HAVE urged Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Co (Aerothai) to improve its flight management system to avoid traffic congestion, after 85 flights were delayed at two airports yesterday morning.
A source at Thai AirAsia, a low-cost carrier based at Don Mueang International Airport, said some morning flights were delayed because of the implementation of the new flight management system. The airline, however, was eventually able to operate all flights and there were no cancellations, the source said.
“Some flights were delayed, but we didn’t cancel any flights. Thai AirAsia also reported the effect and problem back to Aerothai,” the source said.
The budget airline also urged Aerothai to improve its flight management in order to avoid traffic congestion and prevent chaos at airports in the future.
The source said Aerothai had informed all airlines operating at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports about the use of the new flight management system, but it did not warn of possible delays or resulting problems.
Some Thai AirAsia and Nok Air passengers travelling from Don Mueang to the provinces yesterday morning said they were worried about the delay but went ahead with their travel as scheduled.
Officers at both Thai AirAsia and Nok Air said passengers who had booked tickets had called in and asked about flight operations. The airlines advised passengers to reach Don Mueang no less than two hours before their departure time.
A total of 85 flights at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports were delayed yesterday morning following the implementation of new aviation rules.
Aerothai vice president Tinnagorn Choowong said that at 7am yesterday, the revised area navigation (RNAV), standard instrument departure (SID) and standard terminal arrival route ( STAR ) were implemented with the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.
The first flights to land at the airports – Bangkok Airways Flight BKP100 from Samui to Suvarnabhumi Airport and Thai AirAsia Flight AIQ 3036 from Phuket to Don Mueang – were subjected to the new rules.
Tinnagorn said in a statement that due to the new procedures as well as the weather conditions at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the arrival/departure frequency was extended from two minutes to four minutes to allow officers to familiarise themselves with the new rules. This led to a delay of an hour on average for flights between 8am and 9.45am.
Fifty-one flights were affected at Suvarnabhumi Airport and 34 at Don Mueang.
“The situation is expected to return to normal at noon today,” Tinnagorn said.