AirAsia plane removed from grass patch near Brunei runway

Authorities have successfully removed the AirAsia A320 plane from the grass area of Runway 03 of the Brunei International Airport, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said yesterday.

AirAsia Flight AK278 had skidded off the runway shoulder at around 3.33pm on July 7, causing the closure of the Brunei International Airport.

The airport was closed for more than 30 hours causing a number of arriving and departing flights to be postponed, with most of the inbound flights diverted to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The airport resumed operations at 11pm on July 8 with the first flight departing for Singapore at 12.15am on July 9.

In the statement, the DCA thanked all government bodies involved "in mitigating and resolving the situation as expeditiously as possible".

Those involved were the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Brunei Police Force, His Majesty Sultan's Flight, Internal Security Department, Royal Customs and Excise Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Royal Brunei Airlines (RB), Fire and Rescue Department, Public Works Department, Ministry of Health and the Department of Immigration and National Registration.

"The DCA, Ministry of Communications deeply regrets the inconvenience faced by the public and users of the Brunei International Airport during the course of the incident," it said.

"Nevertheless, the patience, cooperation and kind understanding are highly appreciated." - Nadzri Zailani