Nations may fall, but dreams live on! Infrastructure man, Chatchart, targets Issan as ASEAN aviation hub

Thailand’s public and private sectors are targeting to position Thailand as ASEAN aviation hub, by focusing on human resource development. Chatchart, the care-taker minister looking at Thailand’s infrastructure, recently, visited the Issan region, and have openly pushed for the region to be a hub of aviation services and industry. Chatchart, known in Thailand as “The Rock” have been pushing for Thailand to spend massively on infrastructure development, but have met with objection, from the elite. Yet “The Rock” is pushing forward. With that, he is pressing for educational institutions to produce enough graduates for the plan. The public sector, with the semi private and stock market listed, Thai Airways, is upping their aviation related human resource development for ASEAN. And the private sector, being ABAC University, in a joint effort with Pam Am, is expanding its aviation services curriculum.

The following is from PDR (Source)

The aviation business in the ASEAN region is likely to expand significantly once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) goes into full effect. The Thai aviation industry is preparing to meet growing demand at home and abroad when the AEC comes into existence in 2015.

Thailand is striving to become an aviation hub in this region. At the same time, it also aims to be a regional aircraft service and maintenance center.

The establishment of the ASEAN Single Aviation Market upon the arrival of the AEC is a challenge for Thailand, which has an advantage in terms of geographical location. Thailand has aviation links with various countries worldwide. It shares borders with four ASEAN countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar. In 2012, Suvarnabhumi, the primary international airport in Thailand, was the second busiest airport in ASEAN after Indonesia’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

It is expected that the number of flights passing through both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports will grow by 16 percent in 2013. The growth rate is likely to be 10 percent in 2014 and 11 percent in 2015.

The coming of AEC will lead to the opening of numerous new airlines and aviation routes. More tourist arrivals within the region will be seen, together with the growth in the aviation business. As a result, pilots will be in great demand, and many airlines will try to recruit experienced pilots. According to the Thai Flight Training Academy, operated by Thai Airways International, Thailand should produce at least 780 pilots by 2015 in preparation for the AEC. The number will initially be adequate to cope with the growing demand, but by 2018, around 7,800 pilots will be needed.

The Civil Aviation Training Center, under the Ministry of Transport, aims to produce more graduates for the aviation industry. About 1,000 student pilots graduate from this center each year. The center has also trained a number of people in aircraft maintenance.

The Ministry of Transport has improved facilities and pushed for curriculum development in order to accommodate the expected growing number of students. It believes that Thailand will be in a good position to supply its pilots to other ASEAN countries, as well.

Thailand’s aircraft maintenance business has grown steadily. It was valued at 19.1 billion baht in 2012, accounting for an increase of 20 percent over 2011. This business is expected to grow further as the launch of the AEC approaches. In particular, “CLMV” countries, comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, will become an important market for Thailand’s aircraft maintenance business. Thailand also provides other functions, including air transport services, ground-based infrastructure, supply chain activities, and other related business areas.

With its strength in terms of aviation connectivity in ASEAN, Thailand has great potential to attract various regional airlines to its aircraft maintenance services.

The following is from Travel Daily News (source)

Pan Am launches Thailand flight school

Deal with Bangkok’s Assumption University to see new flight simulators deployed to Thailand

Pan Am International Flight Academy was originally the training division of Pan American World Airways

Pan Am International Flight Academy was originally part of Pan American World Airways

Pan Am International Flight Academy, which was recently acquired by Japan’s ANA, has agreed to set up a pilot training facility in Thailand.

A deal penned with Bangkok’s Assumption University will see the launch of the Thailand Opening Simulator Training Center at Assumption’s Suvarnabhumi Campus, close to Bangkok’s main international airport.

“Pan Am is excited to work with the leading University in Thailand on this visionary project,” the company said in a statement. “The university’s commitment to develop a centre for aviation education in Thailand to serve the youth and airlines of the region corresponds with Pan Am’s vision for Thailand and Asia.”

In addition to Assumption University’s existing Airbus 320 simulator, Pan Am intends to move three additional full flight simulators to the Suvarnabhumi campus by the second quarter of 2014. Pan Am will then work with the university on a range of programmes, including pilot, cabin crew, maintenance and air traffic control training.

Pan Am International Flight Academy was originally the training division of Pan American World Airways – a major US carrier until its demise in 1991. Last month it was acquired by ANA Holdings, which pledged to expand its training facilities to countries across Asia.

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