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North East aviation college faces funding shortfall and allegations of corruption



PHOTO: International Aviation College, Nakhon Phanom University -

Almost 200 million baht has “disappeared” from the bank account of the International Aviation College, part of the Nakhon Phanom University. They’ve now approached the Thai government for support to help tackle its liquidity problems. Without an injection of cash the aviation college may have to close down. The IAC has trained thousands of Thailand’s commercial pilots in one of the fastest growing aviation sectors in the world.

The acting president the Nakhon Phanom University has announced that 200 million baht was missing from its accounts. According to the Bangkok Post, Assoc Prof Kittichai Trairatanasirichai had ordered the financial records to be audited to find the missing monies but admitted the college’s funding from the government had been dropping for years.

Nakhon Phanom is in the far north east of Thailand running along the Mekong River on the Laos border.

In 2021, no additional funds were allocated to the college. Kittichai was unable to address any specific allegation of theft or corruption. The problems at the college co-incide with a critical drop in demand for commercial pilots in Thailand, and the world, since many of the World’s aviation fleets remain grounded.

“The university president he asked state agencies such as the State Audit Office to examine the college’s finances.”

But Arom Pattawi, Dean of the International Aviation College claims that the college’s financial woes are the result of “mismanagement”.

“The college did not have enough money to pay for the salaries of its staff.”

“There were almost no students studying at the college, while salaries totalling over 3 million baht pm still needed to be paid.”

Staff and alumni have filed complaints with the Nakhon Phanom provincial saying that “they suspected corruption”.

In November last year, the university’s former president was removed due to accusations of “poor governance”, according to the Bangkok Post.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times


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