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Thailand Repositions Itself To Become Full-Service Regional Aviation Hub

BANGKOK, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bangkok, Thailand is aiming to become centre for the regional aviation which will provide full-service for aircraft repair and maintenance, as well as training centre for regional pilots and air crew. Strategically located within the region along with strong supporting industries on aviation, the opportunities for growth and improvement are very high. The Boeing forecasted there will be 8,960 new airplanes in the period from 2009 to 2028 for Asia-Pacific region in response to growing travels volume within the region.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/HK72910LOGO )

Thailand's current aviation sector comprise of air transportation service for passengers and cargoes and ground-based supporting activities such as refueling, catering, repair and maintenance. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport has also been ranked world 13 th busiest airport by passenger traffic in 2012 up from 16 th place in 2011 and ranked world 20 th busiest by cargo traffic in 2010. In response to the increasing growth in the aviation industry in the region, Thai government plans to expand the 2 nd phase of Suvarnabhumi Airport to support increases in passenger traffic which already exceeded its existing capacity of 45 million passengers per year. The expansion will increase its capacity to handle 80 million passengers by 2019. The government has also approved 5.8 billion baht plan to increase the airport's capacity to 12.5 million passenger by 2018 and recently Chiang Mai International Airport has completed its 2 billion baht expansion.

Regarding the aircraft repair and maintenance, Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt has assigned the Department of Civil Aviation to conduct study on making Nakhon Ratchasima Airport as a new aircraft repair and maintenance and service centre. Nakhon Ratchasima Airport is located on 6.4 sq. km. land north-east of Bangkok.

Training for personnel supporting the aviation industry is undertaken by Thailand's Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC). In corporation with international airlines, CATC has supply Thai Aviation industry with qualified personnel for the ground support, repair and maintenance of aircraft as well as pilot training program for airplanes and helicopter. Thailand national airline, the Thai Airways is also due to sign an agreement with Airbus in mid-February 2013 to build corporate training centre at THAI facility.

In support of aircraft repair and maintenance sector, Thailand has growing aircraft parts industry of which several companies had already open its factory in Thailand - Ducommun Incorporated, which produces high-performance and high-reliability commercial microwave switches; Weston SEA Limited, a manufacturer of complex precision components and sub-assemblies, predominantly for the aerospace market, and Primus International Bangkok Co., Ltd, a Tier II integrator of composites, metallic parts, and assemblies for the commercial, regional, and business aircraft industries; and Driessen Aircraft Interior Systems ( Thailand) Ltd, a world leader in galley and air cargo equipment for the commercial aviation industry; MRAS Asia, manufacturing aircraft engine parts; and Leistriz ( Thailand) Ltd, manufacturing blades for aircraft.

In line with the government policy to make Thailand full-service aviation hub, the BOI promotes the manufacture, repair or conversion of aircraft, including aircraft parts and equipment. These activities are classified as a priority activity of special importance and benefit to the country, which means that projects in the aircraft maintenance industry are eligible for exemption of import duties on machinery, regardless of zone, and an eight-year corporate income tax exemption, regardless of zone, and not subject to the corporate income tax exemption cap. For more information please go to www.boi.go.th.

For more information, please contact:

INVESTMENT SERVICES CENTER THE BOARD OF INVESTMENTMINISTRY OF INDUSTRY555 Vipavadee Rangsit Road, Chatuchuck 10900Tel: +66-2553-8111Fax: +66-2553-8222

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