Govt inks search and rescue deal with Laos
Thailand and neighbouring Laos on Saturday signed a bilateral agreement on aircraft search and rescue cooperation under the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) Convention on International Civil Aviation.
"This agreement between Thailand and Laos will bring about better cooperation and understanding in this field of work," said former transport minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
"This new Thai-Lao cooperation effort should also help raise confidence among air passengers on both domestic and international routes in the aviation safety standards of both countries," he said.
"All nations ratifying the convention, termed as contracting states, are required under Annex 12 to the convention, which deals with search and rescue services, to jointly serve the global need to rapidly locate and rescue survivors of aircraft accidents," added Mr Arkhom.
Annex 12 sets forth the provisions for the establishment, maintenance and operation of search and rescue services by ICAO Contracting States in their territories and over the high seas, according to information on the convention published on ICAO's website.
Cooperation between the search and rescue services of neighbouring states is essential to the efficient conduct of search and rescue operations.
This important aspect is covered in depth in Chapter 3 of Annex 12, which requires ICAO Contracting States to publish and disseminate all information needed for the expeditious entry into their territories of rescue units of other States.
It is also recommended that people qualified in the conduct of aircraft accident investigation accompany rescue units in order to facilitate accident investigation, according to the same information.
As for Thailand, Mr Arkhom said, the ICAO on Oct 6, 2017, lifted its red flag of significant safety concerns, an indication that Thailand's aviation safety standards now meet international standards.