U-Tapao airport in Thailand's Rayong province (Photo: eThailand)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai government is striving to make the country a regional aviation hub, and the industry continues to grow by 10 percent a year, said new Transport Minister of Thailand Saksayam Chidchob.

Speaking at the Third International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Global Aviation Cooperation Symposium held in Phuket from July 22-24, Saksayam said the government has pledged its full support for the country's 20-year national strategy for the development of the aviation industry.

To achieve this goal, Thailand is speeding up developing its aviation infrastructure, and will turn Rayong province's U-Tapao airport into the country's aviation centre in the East, he said.

Under the U-Tapao development plan, a new passenger terminal, a second runway, an aircraft repair and maintenance centre and a building for training of aviation personnel will be built, he added.

The minister added that the development of U-Tapao airport is part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme and the airport will become one of the most important airports in the region in the future.

Meanwhile, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand Chula Sukmanop said Asia and the Pacific now has the fastest-growing aviation sector in the world.

Thailand, in particular, has seen strong performance in aviation development over the past three to four years, which made it suitable for this international meeting, he said.

In October 2017, the ICAO lifted its red flag for significant safety concerns, indicating that Thailand's aviation safety standards now meet international standards.

The EEC is the most important investment initiative of the Thai government. Stretching the eastern provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao, it is developed to transform the localities into technology and manufacturing hubs which are connected to ASEAN countries via roads and sea and air routes by 2021. -VNA