Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Near miss at airport

Near miss at airport

Near miss at airport

ABangkok Airways flight landing in Phnom Penh on April 22 had to pull out of its

landing at the last moment after the pilot spotted a pick-up truck, which was out

chasing dogs, next to the runway. The company's country representative said the control

tower neglected to inform the pilot about the vehicle.

"The pilot saw the pickup, but he was not told [about it] by the control tower.

There should be nothing beside the runway," said Santi Laonnikakra, country

manager for Bangkok Airways. "The pilot had to pull out immediately."

An air traffic controller had sent staff in the truck to catch three dogs that were

on the airfield. They parked the vehicle beside the runway near the designated landing

point but had trouble corralling the animals.

Despite the fact that international airport protocol dictates no vehicles should

be near a runway during landing, the control tower then cleared the Boeing 717-200

with 27 passengers to make its final approach.

The pilot was coming in to land when at only 500 feet he spotted the truck. He pulled

away sharply, circled and then landed safely once the runway was clear. "[The

pilot] was quite upset," said Santi. "The man in the control tower didn't

know how to inform the aircraft."

Saichon Pingsakul, training director for Cambodian Air Traffic Services, said the

experienced controller claimed he informed the pilot about the problem. The misunderstanding

could have resulted from a language barrier.

"We have to investigate and listen to the tape [recording of their conversation],"

he said.

Air safety in Cambodia was sharply criticized in a report by the International Civil

Aviation Organization in 1999. An international aviation safety expert told the Post

in February, 2001 that the situation in Cambodia was "literally one in which

we're just waiting for an accident to happen".

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The