InfoQuest (August 30, 2019) -- According to Somnuk Rongthong, President of Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, Ltd. (AEROTHAI), there were 964,322 flights in Thailand as of August 2019, and 1,039,647 flights are estimated for 2019 as a whole, an increase of only 1.2 percent over 2018 that is lower than the 6 percent originally estimated. This is mainly attributed to the trade war between China and the United States and the closure of Pakistani territorial airspace.
Continued economic growth in both China and India has led to increased flights and air traffic volume in Thailand.
In order to enhance the competitiveness and reception capacity of air traffic and improve the management efficiency and safety of airspace in Thailand, AEROTHAI has previously adjusted the route structure by adjusting the route into parallel route and applying the one-way route management mode. Such adjustment has been implemented since March 2019.
In addition, AEROTHAI plans to re-route its northeastern region to accommodate the growing air traffic volume. Flights in the northeastern region currently account for about 30 percent of Thailand's total flights (3,000 flights per day), with a total of 239,771 flights annually, an average of 632 fights per day, representing an average growth rate of 7.4 percent.
Mr. Somnuk said that AEROTHAI had studied, analyzed and developed new route restructuring guidelines, which were currently being reviewed by the Air Force. After approved by the Air Force, it will be submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) for review. Prior to the official announcement of the new route, the airlines using the service will be invited to discuss their respective flight routes and develop air traffic controller operating procedures.
AEROTHAI's move to re-route, in addition to accommodating the ever-increasing air traffic volume, is aimed at supporting the policies of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Asia-Pacific International Cooperation and Development Plan. It is also made for the realization of the "Seamless ASEAN Sky" concept, which aims to promote the air services of ASEAN countries to the same level so that the flight services from one country's airspace to another can be securely, efficiently and seamlessly provided.
Mr. Somnuk said that the route planning and design for the U-Tapao International Airport (Eastern Airport City), which had been entrusted by the Cabinet of Thailand to AEROTHAI, had been initially completed and an investment of approximately 1 billion baht was expected to be made in the construction of a control tower.
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