Friday, September 30, 2005

How ironic!

I thought about writing an entry about new Bangkok Int'l Airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport, meaning golden land) but there's nothing much to talk about--nothing I can proudly talk about. Well on September 29th there was a flight, claiming to be the first flight, from Donmuang to Suvarnabhumi by Thai Airways' B747 (TG8962) and A340 (TG8960).

Our PM had said earlier that the airport would be finished on that day. However, the airport was not finished. And it'd be delayed for at least another year. So instead of opening a finished airport, he ended up opening an unfinished one.

See BBC story about this. It was forwarded to me by Jesse.

Thai PM opens unfinished airport
By Jonathan Head

BBC News, Bangkok

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has presided over a symbolic opening of Bangkok's new international airport, by landing there on a special flight.

The new airport, which is seen as crucial to Thailand's tourist industry, was first
planned 45 years ago.

Mr Thaksin had originally promised it would be finished by today, Thursday, but it is now not expected to be fully operational for another year.

Claims of incompetence and corruption have dogged the $4bn project.

For the first time since it was dreamed up, Suvarnabhumi (Golden
Land) airport, was thronged with people.

These people were not regular passengers, though, but an entourage of cabinet ministers, dignitaries and airport employees all brought in for one day to sustain the illusion that Bangkok's new international gateway is open for business.

This extravagant spectacle was organised on the orders of Prime Minister Thaksin, because he had promised the country that the airport would be completed by Thursday.

The expanses of bare concrete, unsurfaced roads and half finished buildings told a different story though.

Even the government now concedes the airport will not be ready to handle commercial flights until June next year.

Corruption allegations

Industry experts believe there could be further delays to the
project - which has already been dogged by delays and allegations of corruption,
one of which cost the transport minister his job two months ago.

Airlines are complaining that the charges at the new airport will be too high, and that it will not be capable of handling baggage fast enough.

These concerns were brushed aside by the prime minister as he toured the impressive terminal buildings on Thursday.

He insists the airport will beat its rivals in the region to become East Asia's dominant transport hub - a goal his critics say is within reach, but only if the government acknowledges its past mistakes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No classes for the rest of the week. Yeah!

However, simulator classes start next week so FOM and RM must be reviewed. That means I'm not doing anything but review them.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hua Hin Airport, 22-Sep-05.

Just got back from Hua Hin. Left BKK on Sep 22nd. On that morning, I watched a breaking news on CNN about JetBlue's A320 making an emergency landing at LAX. (See news story for detail.) The two pilots were really good. They were very calm and handled the situation very well. You might think it's easy, but I'm telling you it's not. Nose gear malfunction means pilots lose main steering control of the aircraft. They've to control direction by using rudder and differential braking on main wheels.

Hua Hin looked the same to me, but in fact it'd changed a lot. There're many new stores opening. Plus under construction was this huge shopping mall with cinemas and bowling. (Thought it's Major's.) This trip we stayed at Plam Pavillion, which is a very nice condominium. (Heard it costs less than 2M.) We'd gone to our school to visit teachers and friends. Glad they're doing good. Our junior AP68 weren't really nice though. It might be because there're too many of them. :(

I had too much alcohol which made me sick during the following day, recovered in the evening, then back to party again at night. The whole process repeated itself a couple of times. :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Today a new course begins. It's English! You might be wondering why they have to put this course in as everyone must have certain language skill in some degree in order to pass recruitment process. It's because there's this new ICAO requirement about all flight crew having passed level 4 English proficiency test by 2008. Anyway, I still doubt what they're gonna teach for the next 4 days.

Also, just found out there's Thai Wikipedia available.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

It's party weekend.

Friday night there's a grand opening party of D-cube at Siam Square Soi 4. I personally don't like it cause the ventilation was so bad that the place were filled with smoke--very uncomfortable both for smokers and non-smokers.

Saturday evening Jesse called and asked if I'd join Intania 81 reunion party. I wasn't going to cause there'd be only few people that I knew of. But anyway since he mentioned it I thought stopping by wouldn't hurt. (Jesse worried about having so few people showed up that it'd end up without profit.)

More pictures here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Another Commencement

Commencement ceremony of AP66 took place today at CATC Bangkok. This is different from other classes which the ceremonies were held at Hua Hin Airport. My class (AP65) and AP66 are actually close friends because we both applied (and accepted) in 2003. It was split into 2 classes only because of training resource limitation.

I had no class in the morning so I attended the ceremony. It's pretty formal cause transportation minister and many of the ministry's executives were there. (And all those people who suck up their superiors shit.) Every instructor pilots (IP) were there too.

Congratulations AP66!

In the afternoon there was this Route Manual exam which was very difficult and had too many questions to complete in time. :( (What is Route Manual? --I might write about it later if I have time.) Now I can only pray (75% to pass).