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Laos To Upgrade Air Traffic Services

Source: Vientiane Times

In line with government plans and the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Laos is planning to update air traffic services in many respects.

This includes air traffic controllers’ training, upgrading navigation aids and aviation meteorological aids, revising and publishing regulations and operational manuals, as well as improving coordination with states in the sub-region which include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

This was the main message delivered by the Director General of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport’s Department of Civil Aviation, Mr Vanhpheng Chanthaphone during the 5th Mekong Air Traffic Management (ATM) Coordination Group Meeting held in Vientiane from March 24-26.

“This meeting is a continuation of the previous Mekong ATM meeting which was held last year in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where important developments in airspace and air traffic management enhancement within the Mekong sub-region were discussed,” he said.

The purpose of last week’s Mekong ATM Coordination Group Meeting was to review the outcomes of the previous Mekong ATM Coordination Meeting and other related meetings in the region.

Other objectives were to discuss ATM coordination issues in the Mekong River sub-region, including air traffic management and other matters relating to mutual coordination and benefits.

The meeting enabled member states to look back at what they have implemented so far and plan ahead for what is best suitable for the Sub-region and their state.

“Lao airspace is a centre for overflying flights. Air traffic services are challenging for air traffic controllers because of our airspace complexity and route structures,” Mr Vanhpheng said.

The meeting would be very useful for Laos to learn about and share best practices in the management of increasing traffic in the future, he added.

The previous Mekong ATM Coordination Group Meeting focused on cooperation among air navigation service providers with Mekong states, according to the Department of Civil Aviation. The Mekong ATM Co ordination Group was established to ensure inter-regional harmonisation, accelerate cooperative initiatives among its membership in order to enhance flight efficiency while maintaining the safe, expeditious flow o f traffic with the goal of providing seamless and harmonised air traffic management services.

Membership includes aviation regulators and air navigation service providers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, supported by partners including but not limited to airlines and airspace users in the States mentioned.

The meeting was chaired by the Director of the Air Navigation Division of the Department of Civil Aviation Mr Bountaeng Symoon.