During the recent mission to Thailand, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu and Thai Prime Minister H.E. Prayut Chan-o-cha agreed to accelerate their ongoing cooperation to resolve a Significant Safety Concern (SSC) in Thailand.
“Thailand is a leader in a number of areas of sustainable development in the Asia and Pacific (APAC) Region, and its international tourism growth strongly relies on its effective oversight of safe and secure global air transport connectivity,” Dr. Liu commented.
Reiterating his Government’s commitment to ensure ICAO-compliant air transport operations as quickly as possible, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha stressed that all required measures would be taken by the Thai Government to resolve the SSC, and that it expected to be ready for a follow-up mission by ICAO in June 2017.
He also highlighted the importance of the proactive assistance Thailand is receiving from ICAO’s Bangkok-based Asia and Pacific (APAC) Regional Office, singling out the capacity building of regulatory staff as an example of how ICAO’s collaboration can have significant impacts.
Dr. Liu thanked Thailand for the leadership it is demonstrating by prioritizing the air transport sector in its 20-year National Development Plan, stressing the importance of addressing its near-term safety, security and capacity priorities in aid of future sustainable growth. She further called on Thailand to “promote the benefits of air transport to tourism and trade, and to assume a leadership role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by facilitating smaller States’ efforts to expand capacity and improve their regulatory oversight systems.”
The ICAO Secretary General reiterated these points during further bilateral discussions held with Thailand’s Minister of Transport, H.E. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, and at a high-level meeting with Dr. Samshad Akhtar, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
Dr. Liu and Dr. Akhtar agreed that both UN agencies should enhance their efforts to encourage the prioritization of aviation within States’ national developmental plans, especially given the critical importance of ICAO compliant air transport to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals under Agenda 2030.