RAYONG – June 21, 2012 [PDN]; Bangkok International Airport (co-named BKK) air traffic control radar screens went blank due to the simultaneous crash of both the main and back-up power systems. Totally 49 aircraft were affected. 21 take-offs and 15 landings were delayed and 13 flights were rerouted or returned to their departure points. Ten aircraft were running out of kerosene and had to land and refuel at Rayong U-Tapao International Airport (UTP) and return to Suvannabhumi.
Rear Admiral Pangpol Sirisangchai Commander of Royal Thai Navy said that, after he was informed about the (BKK) Suvarnabhumi air traffic control radar crash with aircraft in holding pattern circling the airport with limited fuel, emergency landing and refuelling was immediately granted for the Suvarnabhumi aircraft. The flights landed and refuelled safely and departed back to Suvarnabhumi airport.
According to Deputy Transport Minister Chatchard Sittipunt it took the air traffic control engineers 40 minutes to repair the malfunctioning radar system.
The delay caused by the Suvarnabhumi (BKK) radar blackout lasted for three hours.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport opened in 2006 and is among the five busiest airports in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2011 it handled 47.2 million passengers.