ASEAN air chiefs unite with RTAF to ‘clear the air’ in Thailand pollution battle

Picture courtesy of Khaosod English.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is gearing up to join forces with its ASEAN counterparts to combat air pollution, specifically honing in on the issue of fine particulate matter PM2.5. This announcement took flight during the annual ASEAN Air Chiefs Conference in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, which concluded today, with a mission to ‘clean up’ the skies.

The conference serves as a platform for air force leaders from the ten-nation bloc to deliberate on defence cooperation, counter-extremism measures, and disaster relief strategies. This year, the conference has also zeroed in on environmental cooperation efforts.

The RTAF’s commander-in-chief, ACM Alongkorn Wannarot, highlighted the force’s initiatives to combat the PM2.5 problem, largely attributed to widespread crop burning across Southeast Asia. He revealed that the RTAF, in association with the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation, established the Royal Rainmaking operation unit in 2015. The unit’s mandate is to extinguish wildfires, mitigate PM2.5 pollution, and augment water levels in Thai dams.

Further, ACM Alongkorn revealed that the RTAF is making significant strides in developing pertinent technology. This includes a mobile app for waste management and viable alternatives to plastic use.

In a bid to promote renewable energy, the RTAF has set up an education centre. The centre is designed to demonstrate and promote the use of biodiesel fuel, wind energy, and solar energy.

In a groundbreaking collaboration with the Provincial Electricity Authority, the RTAF rolls out floating solar panels and solar-powered roofs at air bases nationwide, elevating their commitment to sustainability and leading the battle against environmental pollution, Bangkok Post reported.

Furthermore, two weeks ago, in a promising scientific research project, experts explored the potential of three herbal plants in combatting chronic diseases connected to PM2.5 dust. The focal point of this collaborative project is to address the health challenges arising from prolonged exposure to harmful PM2.5 dust particles, a pressing concern in regions affected by air pollution. Read more about the story HERE.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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