Thai pilots lose out to foreign nationals, petition NLA intervention

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BANGKOK, 14 August 2015 – The Thai Pilots Association (TPA) has petitioned the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to address the recent replacement of at least 13 Thai helicopter pilots with foreign nationals.

The petition was submitted to Group Captain Paisan Sitabutr, Chairman of the NLA committee on transportation.

The association revealed that many businesses have recently hired foreign helicopter pilots instead of Thai nationals. The companies in question have claimed to save time and money spent on training Thai pilots by hiring competent, licensed foreigners.

The TPA also revealed that some companies have exploited a legal loophole in which they hire foreign nationals as training instructors, but then render regular flight services.

It has also been found that the majority of helicopters flying in and out of oil rigs in the Gulf of Thailand are piloted by foreigners. The association argues that these routes should be handled by Thai nationals.

The TPA argues that these actions violate Section 5 of the 1979 Act on Prescribing Works Relating to Occupation and Profession in which an Alien is Prohibited to Engage.