HEAVY flooding the in South led to Nakhon Si Thammarat airport shutting down for two days after floodwater gushed into the start of the runway, Thai News Agency quoted the Civil Aviation Department as saying today (Jan. 6)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha together with some ministers flew to Narathiwat today to follow the flood situation first hand and also preside over a meeting on security, economic and social development in the border provinces.
The department’s director-general Darun Sangchai said that it was necessary to shut Nakhon Si Thammarat airport for two days (Jan. 6-7) or until the flood situation improves because the inflow of floodwater made it necessary to switch off navigation lights and aids and a notice to airmen had already been issued about this brief closure.
The department has also liaised with airlines to inform and help passengers such as taking back tickets or helping them fly out from nearby airports in Surat Thani, Hat Yai and Phuket for instance.
In Surat Thani as Asian Highway 2 is badly flooded and difficult for vehicles to pass through, the provincial authorities and the military have pitched in to help passengers get to the airport. The department has also asked airlines to add extra flights to help people fly out and at 1 a.m. today Thai Air Asia flight number FD9801 flew 180 people to Bangkok.
While many districts in Narathiwat, Chumporn, Krabi and Ranong are flooded, their airports are still functioning normally.
Top: Nakhon Si Thammarat airport’s flooded runway. Photo: Thai News Agency