Connect with us

Phuket

Park chiefs hamper Navy plans for emergency helipads

Published

 on 

Park chiefs hamper Navy plans for emergency helipads | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet wants to build a network of helicopter landing pads on outlying islands so that tourists needing emergency medical treatment can be brought back to Phuket faster.

Rear-Admiral Supot Pruksa of the Third Naval Area Command announced the initiative yesterday following his opening address at a two-day maritime safety meeting attended by 60 naval officers at the Phuket Merlin Hotel.

All attendees are based in the six Andaman Coast provinces that comprise the Third Area Command, centered at the naval base at Cape Panwa.

The meeting is being held to update officers on progress made and integrating procedures of the Third Fleet’s five-year Maritime Safety Plan, launched in 2006.

Navy efforts to increase tourist safety in the Andaman region came after the 2004 tsunami, when staff were posted at new facilities in Patong, on Koh Lanta Noi in Krabi and at both the Similan and Surin archipelagos off the coasts of Phang Nga and Ranong.

Citing the example of a Russian tourist who was airlifted to Phuket after being bitten by a fish while diving off the Similans in May last year, R/Adm Supot said that setting up landing pads for helicopters was the next logical step in the safety plan.

One landing pad has been built at the Surin Islands, but additional landing pads are needed there and at other popular tourist destinations, including the Similans and Koh Lanta Noi, he said

However, the National Parks officials responsible for these islands have been reluctant to allow more than 300 square meters of park land to be covered with asphalt to accommodate the 20-meter-diameter landing pads, he added.

“They say it will hurt the environment and destroy the scenery, but I think it is worth it in order improve our emergency response capacity,” he said.

The cost of each landing pad, about 60,000 baht, would be covered by the Navy, he said.

The Navy already has permission to build a helipad at Similan Island 8, but would prefer to site the helipad on Island 4, which is visited by many more tourists.

“We are in disagreement with them over that, but in the end I hope we can build it there. We would build it in an area that would not block beautiful views,” he said.

If the emergency helipad project is successful, injured tourists could be airlifted to Phuket in just 20 minutes, he said.

Getting injured tourists back to Phuket from the Similans can take up to four hours when seas are heavy, he added.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World2 hours ago

25 arrested in Germany suspected of leading a ‘right-wing’ coup

Thailand5 hours ago

23 military students hospitalised after being trained too hard

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | British man who loves Thailand banned for 5 years for overstaying

Sponsored8 hours ago

Top 5 Backlink Agencies in Bangkok for Your Business

Crime6 hours ago

Police arrest another Chinese visa overstayer living it up in Thailand

Hot News6 hours ago

Christmas present to Phuket motorists: Patong Hill road to reopen

Thailand7 hours ago

Firework maker killed in firework accident in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand7 hours ago

Lao star swindled by Thai celebrity, more than 500 million baht lost

Thailand7 hours ago

Father chains up daughter and forces her to return to abusive husband

China8 hours ago

China mulls downgrading Covid-19 status as protests continue

Business8 hours ago

Tesla to launch in Thailand this month

Apple8 hours ago

Two women sue Apple saying AirTag product gives stalkers access to their whereabouts

Thailand8 hours ago

Electioneering: Thaksin’s daughter vows to end poverty in Thailand

Thailand8 hours ago

Thai travel agent group says travel restrictions hamper tourism growth

Hot News9 hours ago

Thailand pushes for more international flights as tourism surges

Crime9 hours ago

Man stabs passersby in Bangkok, 1 killed 1 injured

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending