Phuket Airport gets safety upgrades

Prompted by the tragic crash of a One-Two-Go flight on 16 September 2007 in Phuket, Phuket’s airport has decided to upgrade its safety system. A new wind shear alert system has been installed that covers the entire airport complex, airport director Wicha Noenlop stated. They have also been paying much greater attention to the safety maintenance records of aircraft and personnel.

Even though the deadly One-Two-Go crash was caused by pilot error, according to Thailand’s Civil Aviation Department (CAD), wind shear was heavily investigated as a contributing factor. Officials note that the pilot of the fatal flight was warned by Phuket’s air traffic controllers about strong wind shear just before the crash.

Wicha points out that Phuket has narrow runways and is surrounded by low mountains, which makes landings more difficult than at other airports. All domestic pilots who plan to fly in and out of Phuket Airport must pass tests of takeoff and landing at its runway before their license will be issued.

In addition, Phuket Airport has hired an additional 20 rescue workers, and safety standards on the runways have been intensified such as the regular removal of rubber deposits. The CAD and Aerothai check the airport’s navigation equipment more frequently as well. Training refresher courses are provided to help staff who work on the runways better identify potentially dangerous objects.

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