Phuket airport readies for heavier air traffic


PHUKET: Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd, the state company for air-traffic controllers better known as “Aerothai”, will launch a new air-traffic control system at Phuket International Airport to cope with the ever-increasing number of flights landing and taking off at the island’s key tourism portal.

A demonstration of the new system was held at the Phuket Flight Control Center on Wednesday (Feb 6).

Present for the occasion was Aerothai President Somnuk Rongthong and Tinnagorn Choowong, Aerothai Executive Vice President (Operations), joined by Phuket Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai and Phuket International Airport General Manager Thanee Chuangchu.

Also present were Maj Gen Nantadech Yoinuan, Deputy Commander of Region 8 Police; Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Rewat Ubonrat; Suttipong Kongpool, Aerothai Executive Vice President (Safety and Standards); along with some 200 guests, including airport senior management, heads of government agencies and flight control staff.

Mr Tinnagorn pointed out that Phuket airport is the third-busiest airport in the country, behind only Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang international airports in Bangkok.

“In 2018, there were 120,000 flights, or an average of 323 flights per day, at Phuket airport,” Mr Tinnagorn said.

“And during the Chinese New Year this year, it is expected that the average flight volume will be 368 flights per day.

“In addition, it is expected that the next five years will have an average of 400 flights per day,” Mr Tinnagorn added.

Key to the number of flights arriving and departing Phuket were direct flights from Europe, China, Australia, India and Russia, Mr Tinnagorn noted.

“As the number of flights continues to increase, Aerothai is implementing its Thailand Modernization CNS / ATM System (TMCS) infrastructure project, which involves upgrading the systems installed throughout the country,” he explained.

“We are currently in the testing phase, and expect to soon expand the project to have the new system being tested at regional aviation control centers throughout the country,” he said.

“Today we begin testing the system at the Phuket Flight Control Center, and expect the new system to be fully operational throughout the country in late 2019,” Mr Tinnagorn said.

“This new air traffic control system will help increase the ability to support flights, increase the efficiency and safety of air navigation services as well as enhance the air navigation system of Thailand to meet international standards and changes in world aviation technology as well,” he said.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on February 8, 2019

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