Wet airport images spur flood fight

Heavy traffic in front of Don Mueang International Airport on a wet day. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Don Mueang airport has taken steps to stop floods after news images were shown recently of some airport facilities being inundated during heavy rain.

The airport, the country’s largest hub for low-cost air travel, has prepared 12 water pump stations to siphon out water during downpours. An additional two pump stations in an adjacent area run by the air force can also help, Airports of Thailand (AoT) Plc president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said.

Together the 14 stations are capable of draining 75,340 cubic metres of water per hour, he said.

The water can be drained away to a reservoir to the north of the airport and released into Klong Prem Prachakorn through underpass pipes under Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

Mr Nitinai added that to the east of the airport, water will be diverted to Klong Thanon.

The State Railway of Thailand is also building a drainage system extension along the Red Line electric train construction project to receive water from the airport. The extension, being built at the AoT’s request, started in September last year.

Mr Nitinai added shops and restaurants at the airport have also been asked to dispose of rubbish in appropriate places so it does not end up clogging drainage pipes.

He said staff have also been assigned to constantly monitor rain and start the drainage immediately if needed.

The AoT president said the water drained from the airport will be carefully regulated to prevent the run-off flooding nearby communities.

The measures announced by the president followed television images released of parts of the airport being inundated, triggered by a downpour early this week.

Mr Nitinai said the heavy rain forced two commercial flights from Hat Yai and Chiang Mai to be delayed by 30 minutes to 90 minutes on Tuesday.

He said the television images were of flooded parking bays and the water took only bout 20 minutes to drain away.

Meanwhile, the Chao Phraya dam in Chai Nat has increased water discharges, pushing up water levels on the Chao Phraya River at Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Ayutthaya by 20cm.

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