Govt tells forum of mega-aviation plans

Govt tells forum of mega-aviation plans

PHUKET: The government has pledged its full support for the country's 20-year national strategy for the development of the aviation industry.

"Thailand's aviation industry continues to grow by 10% a year and the government is striving to make the country a regional hub for aviation," said Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob yesterday.

He was speaking at the Third International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Global Aviation Cooperation Symposium yesterday. The two-day forum in Phuket was being attended by 450 participants from 193 ICAO member countries.

To achieve this goal, Thailand is speeding up developing its aviation infrastructure, and will turn Rayong's U-Tapao airport into the country's aviation centre in the East, he said.

Under the U-Tapao development plan, a new passenger terminal, a second runway, an aircraft repair and maintenance centre and a building for training of aviation personnel will be built, he said.

The minister added that the U-Tapao development is a part of the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme and the airport will in the future become one of the most important airports in the region.

Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) chief Chula Sukmanop, meanwhile, said Asia and the Pacific now have the fastest-growing aviation sector in the world, a reason why the region was picked as the location for the ICAO symposium.

Thailand, in particular, has seen strong performance in aviation development over the past three to four years, which made it suitable for this international meeting, he said.

On Oct 6, 2017, the ICAO lifted its red flag for significant safety concerns, indicating that Thailand's aviation safety standards now meet international standards.

Previously, Thailand was red-flagged in June 2015 for failing to adequately deal with 33 "significant safety concerns" within a specified time frame.

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