YANGON, 24 April 2014: Aviation authority says overcrowding and lack of aircraft parking spots at Yangon International Airport has caused a spate of minor accidents and damage to aircraft.
Local media quoted an unnamed Department of Civil Aviation official saying the accident rate had increased with the boom in air travel to Yangon.
A total 29 international and domestic airlines are using the Yangon International Airport, which was built with parking slots to accommodate 16 aircraft at any one time.
Ground services and staff are under pressure to cater to more aircraft and parking and work space is limited.
The most recent accident, 14 April, involved a Golden Myanmar Airlines’ Airbus that rammed the rear side of a parked Myanmar Airways International plane. The MAI plane suffered s damage to its tail section, but no one was injured.
Another incident occurred in March when an aircraft from China Airlines was refuelling. The fuel tanker’s engine overheated erupting in a cloud of smoke.
In another incident, an airport vehicle reportedly hit an exit door on an Indian Airlines plane causing damage.
More international airlines plan to fly direct to Yangon International Airport and domestic airlines are increasing their fleets, all based at the airport.
Authorities have tried to convince some domestic airlines to move their home bases to Mandalay where there are more overnight parking spots.
Plans for the new Hantarwaddy International Airport are underway, but it could take three to five years before it is ready to open.
Myanmar has three international airports: Yangon; Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.
Source: TTR Weekly