Investigation into Blackout At New Thailand Airport

An investigation into the airport official who pulled the wrong power breaker, causing a blackout at Suvarnabhumi Airport during the soft opening on Friday, will be completed within a week, the caretaker transport minister said on September 16, The Nation reports.

Pongsak Ruktapongpisal said after attending a meeting with the board of the Airport Authority of Thailand (AOT) that police had interrogated the official who is said to have caused the blackout, as well as three or four witnesses.

However, it has not yet been decided whether the official deliberately pulled the wrong power breaker.

Pongsak said the official had been temporarily suspended from his job until the investigation is complete and the police can conclude the case. He expects the investigation to be completed within a week.

If found to have cut the power on purpose, the official would be charged with a criminal offence under the 1978 Air Transportation Act as he had impeded airport operations.

Meanwhile, AOT managing director Chotisak Asphawiriya said 10 more closed-circuit TV cameras would be installed at the airport within the next few days.

Commenting on the delay of the first commercial flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport on Friday, Chotisak insisted it was because of passengers who had spent time taking pictures of the new airport, not because of operational problems.

Copyright: Thai Press Reports -- 9/19/06

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