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North East aviation college faces funding shortfall and allegations of corruption

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PHOTO: International Aviation College, Nakhon Phanom University - AviationFly.com

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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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Another Thai organisation going broke. The police, taxi drivers, hotels, restaurants, Thai air ways, who next?

  2. Avatar

    PedroJill

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Do you think a commercial pilot test in Thailand has the same rigor as those in other countries? Step on a Thailand Airline at your peril.

    • The Thaiger

      The Thaiger

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 12:10 pm

      Ridiculous comment. Thai airlines have had a good reputation and safety record, given the huge numbers of planes an flights, certainly over the past 2 decades.

  3. Avatar

    gosport

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:12 am

    What a pity! Good memories there.

  4. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:45 am

    How does your finance department not know there is 200 million baht missing?

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      Obfuscation.

  5. Avatar

    DanYensebai

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    FAA/ICAO have blocked or warned Thailand airlines several times in the last 2 decades.
    Major pilot error incidents in 2001 and 2007. That was in the last 2 decades.
    Many other developing Asian counties are not too proud to hire foreign pilots in senior or even FO positions. Some even state their own national training programmes and graduates are not good enough. Imagine that – not caring about losing face, might even save lives.

  6. Avatar

    Timmytime

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Corruption….in Thailand?????. No way, that cant be true in Amazing Thailand, the land of smiles and the free. Someone is enjoying 200 million baht as we speak.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    If, as the Dean says, there are “almost no students studying at the college,” then the solution seems obvious as well as inevitable.

    • Avatar

      James R

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 9:10 pm

      Issan John

      If it is so obvious then perhaps you can tell us where the 200 million went?

      It might have been a little bit handy as cash flow.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Monday, February 1, 2021 at 11:55 am

        Sorry, James R, I didn’t realise English was your second language.

        “They [the IAC]’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.”

        Those, reportedly, are “its problems”, which need a “solution”.

        As the College cost 2 billion baht to set up, with annual running costs of over 43 million baht, 11 planes and three simulators, and 30 staff being paid 3 million baht per month, all for only three students in the first semester and 26 now, that doesn’t strike me as very good value for money.

        Since the Dean says there are “almost no students studying at the college,” and there’s a “critical drop in demand for commercial pilots in Thailand, and the world, since many of the World’s aviation fleets remain grounded” the solution to those “problems” doesn’t seem to me to be “support [from] the Thai government” or “an injection of cash”.

        The solution to me is to close the college.

        I would have thought that was obvious, as I can’t see much point in spending 200 million baht more , if found, or the government giving support for something nobody wants to learn and nobody wants commercially.

        You think that’s the solution?

        Oh well … we’ll just have to agree to disagree there …

        As for “where the 200 million went”, “no”, sorry, can’t tell you that and never suggested I could but I wouldn’t have thought it would be that hard for an auditor to find.

  8. Avatar

    pascal

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    well, most of world wild aviation training center are facing similar situation today. many pilot stood down, freshly graduate pilot are put on stand by and try to survive , airlines did froze the recruitment due to covid-19. it will take a while before the machine run again. as said above between the salaries, the maintenance of the planes and sim plus all general spending …… no student either it will be hard to stop the bleeding if the finance was already low.

  9. Avatar

    David Mann

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:37 am

    I feel sorry for the pilots laid off work, We don’t know how lucky we are to have the jobs we have. I’ve had a bloke decorating the house for the last three days. I got chatting to him and it turns out he is a Ryanair pilot on Furlough. He is decorating now to try and pay his mortgage, sad times but in fairness he did a great job on the landing.

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