Thailand is becoming one of the most popular nations on the continent to visit, not only for tourists that are looking to take in all of the scenery and incredible beaches that the Southeast Asian destination has to offer (not to mention the incredible food and culture), but also for serious business people, investors, and international leaders that are looking to take advantage of all that said Thailand has to offer as well.
Because of this, the aeronautical industry in Thailand has been urging aviation officials to jumpstart necessary reforms in airspace routing and traffic management procedures to help handle a major predicted influx of air travel that’s going to take place over the next 20 years or so.
According to the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, this nation is going to see upwards of 3 million flights coming into and going out of the country annually over the following 18 years.
This projection is going to push Thailand into the 10th spot as far as the largest global aviation markets are concerned, and while major new initiatives have been making pretty decent inroads into overhauling and upgrading the aviation world in Thailand the current system – as it sits today and is projected to sit five years into the future – is simply not going to be able to handle this major new influx of traffic.
The IATA reports that were released October 2017 corroborates this projection, and the industry association president has been imploring and encouraging the Thai government and the Thai aviation industry to pick up the pace a little bit so that they are able to meet the demands of these new travelers as safely as humanly possible.
As the situation sits right now, about a million flights are coming into and going out of Thailand every single year. And while the aviation industry has done a real bang up job keeping everyone safe and keeping the machine of the aviation industry moving at a decent clip, the truth of the matter is there is still a number of persistent delays, overlapping airspace routing issues, and a number of other significant safety concerns that exist regarding the Thai aviation world.
The same report mentioned above highlights the fact that the UK is able to effortlessly accommodate more than 2 million flights every single year while having dramatically less airspace to manage than timely – and they have a lot fewer issues with airspace problems annually as well. A lot of this has a do with the fact that they have invested so aggressively into their aviation industry, something that Thailand has been a little bit slow to do compared to other nations around the world.
Air passageways are one of the first things that need to be addressed by these new overhauls. Currently, air passageways that are used by both the AEROTHAI and Royal Thai Air Force overlapped with one another – causing a considerable amount of safety concerns as well as cluttered airspace that simply cannot be managed as well is more outlined and delineated airspace could be.
Major initiatives are also underway to overhaul and improve many of the nation’s airports as well. Most of the airports that exist in Thailand have been built or upgraded over the last 30 years or so, but still some of them aren’t taking advantage of state-of-the-art and industry-standard technology the way they could be or the way they should be.
At the end of the day though, the AEROTHAI organization (a state run enterprise and the primary governor of air traffic throughout Thailand) feels that changes and improvements on the ground are only going to have so much of a beneficial impact. Changes have to be made to air corridors and air passageways that continue to exist under regulated, and until these issues are managed, mitigated, and resolve major problems are always going to exist in the skies over Thailand.
Last year (2017) Thailand saw a growth rate of 8% – outpacing the 5% expectations that had been outlined ahead of that year. This year, the aviation industry in Thailand expects a growth rate of between 6% and 7% – but if last year was anything to go off of, it could easily hit 10% or more (and there aren’t a lot of industry insiders around the world that would be surprised at those kinds of figures.
Plans are already underway to find the best way to move forward with new initiatives that can improve the airways above Thailand. Thailand is working closely with the United Kingdom to find ways to open up their air lanes, to streamline their operations, and to improve the overall safety and security of everyone and anyone that is to be traveling in the skies over this nation.