Aviation to expand from growing economy: Aerothai

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Bangkok – Thailand’s aviation sector is expected to expand in 2018 thanks to a growing economy, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) President Sarinee Saangprasit said.

She said flight arrivals and departures to and from Thailand next year are projected to grow by seven percent, with the number of flights exceeding one million due to the growing economy.

She said many airlines are changing their types of aircraft to bigger models to increase the number of seats while Aerothai is ensuring Thailand’s air traffic will be able to accommodate the increased flights over the next 20 years during which the number of flights is expected to reach 2-3 million each year.

The air traffic expansion plan will be concluded in mid-2018, and will be further proposed to the Ministry of Transport and the Cabinet.

The overall number of flights arriving in and departing from airports in Thailand in 2017 is expected to amount to about 990,000 flights, marking a five percent increase from last year but was earlier forecast to reach nine percent. The decline was primarily due to a sluggish global economy, zero-dollar tour scams and restricted flight schedules.

Meanwhile, Suvarnabhumi international airport is suffering from flight delays exceeding the international standard which only allows for 20 percent of all flights to be delayed due to weather conditions and runway improvement work.

The flight delays at Chaing Mai and Phuket airports have not exceeded the global standard.

Aerothai is now working with 130 airlines and ground operators at airports to have an advanced plan to cope with the situation in which an airliner is required to hover before landing and to take care of passengers.