Thailand turns to UK CAAi to draft new drone regulations

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has selected the UK CAA’s technology arm, CAA International (CAAi) to draft new drone regulations. The nine-month project will allow CAAT to safely integrate the operations of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) into Thailand’s aviation system.

According to a CAAi press report, UAS experts from the British aviation regulator will start by assessing Thailand’s primary legislation and determine any areas for consideration for UAS regulations. UK aviation regulators will work with CAAT to draft new ICAO compliant operating UAS regulations, harmonised with EASA standards. CAAi will also support CAAT with industry engagement to ensure air transport and UAS operators understand how to comply with the new standards.

Drones are widely used in Thailand. In the agricultural sector that accounts for 8.6% of Thai GDP, farmers have increased crop yields by saving time spraying and fertilising crops using drones. With drones becoming an increasingly familiar aspect of life and work, a solid regulatory framework is vital for safe operations and achieving further socio-economic benefits.

Commenting after the contract signing, Rob Erskine, Head of International Operations at CAAi said, “We are delighted to be working with our regulatory counterparts in Thailand again, and we look forward to maturing Thailand’s aviation system in the areas of drones. As the UK CAA was one of the first regulators to announce UAS regulations back in 2013, we’re pleased to leverage our niche regulatory experience to pave the way for the future of Thai aviation oversight.”

Dr Chula Sukmanop, Director General of CAA Thailand, said “As UAS has become more common to our daily life, CAAT intends to provide a regulatory system to ensure that new technology and innovation fits well with the aviation safety. CAAi has been a trusted partner of CAAT in regulation development from the beginning. It is, therefore, our delight to work with them again on this issue and look forward to the new successful outcome of the Drone Regulations.”

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