Thailand’s outlines aviation aspirations

BANGKOK, 14 February 2017: Thailand has outlined a plan to expand its aviation industry in the hope it can become a leader offering maintenance and aviation spare parts.

The Thai Cabinet recently approval an ambitious Ministry of Transport’s 15-year aviation development plan that is part of a wider agenda to pursue what economists call Thailand 4.0 version.

Prime Minister’s Office assistant minister, Kobsak Phutrakul, said the Cabinet endorsed, last week, an Aviation Industry Development Plan that will support aircraft maintenance and spare parts production in Thailand.

inside no 2The Ministry of Transport will set the framework and offer incentives to grow aircraft maintenance centres and expand the aircraft parts manufacturing industry including developing human resources in a plan that will extend to 2032.

Thailand hopes to compete with Singapore, which is an important centre for aircraft maintenance and also the home of the region’s major air show for commercial and military aircraft and a sales platform for the region’s spare parts industry that serves ASEAN aviation.

Ultimately as the plan unfolds, the Thai ministry hopes to achieve an  ambitious target of establishing an ‘Aeropolis’ to handle the maintenance of regional aircraft and upgrade the country aviation’s industry to Tier 2 (Design & Build) as well as improve human resource skills in the sector.

It could create an THB10 billion industry and jobs for 7,500 workers, and reduce the cost of the annual maintenance for local airlines by THB6.5 billion over 30 years, the ministry official said.

Currently, Thailand has 28 factories making spare parts for aircraft and by 2020 it could almost double to 40.

Aviation is one of the 10 targeted industries the government wants to improve.

The others are: next-generation cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical services.

They are key elements in the Thailand 4.0 version aspirations that will create urban centres with strong skill sets and lucrative industries.