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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
News article15 October 2018Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

European Union and Thailand step up cooperation on helicopter-based emergency support and civil aviation


A high-level delegation from Thailand visited the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to study how Helicopter Emergency Medical Services are deployed in Europe. This paves the way for Thailand to improve rapid access to emergency healthcare and increase the geographical footprint served by each hospital, in a country with high traffic fatalities.

Mr. Pailin Chuchottaworn, Deputy Minister of Transport of Thailand said “The reduction of road fatalities and other incidents is a key priority for Thailand. The development of helicopter services will improve access to emergency health care, allowing more patients to be treated in the initial ‘golden’ hour, which will reduce fatalities in congested and remote locations.”

The visit will also include visits to civil, military and police stakeholders including HEMS operators, hospitals and maintenance and training organisations. In addition to the Ministry of Transport of Thailand, the high-level delegation also included members of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, National Institute for Emergency Medicine, Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine, Royal Thai Army and Royal Thai Police. The visit is part of the European Union-funded EU-South East Asia Aviation Partnership Project.

UN, European Union and countries in South East Asia work together for cheaper, safer and more sustainable aviation


In September this year, the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the EASA joined forces to bring together South East Asian aviation stakeholders and discuss the future of air transport in the South East Asian region.

Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA, said “Development of the Seamless ASEAN Sky together with the ASEAN Single Aviation Market is a must. It will soon become irrelevant how many passengers the airlines carry, aircraft are bought or freedoms of the air are agreed – if the air traffic management system cannot handle the demand, the only thing that is created is delays.”

The civil aviation sector is a driving force in the EU economy and the aviation market in South-East Asia is set to grow at 6.6 % annually for the next 20 years. The expansion of the EU’s share of this developing market is crucial, and needs to be underpinned by the highest standards of aviation safety, security and environmental protection.


The EU-South East Asia Aviation Partnership Project, funded under the EU’s Partnership Instrument, works to strengthen political, environmental and economic partnership between the two regions in the area of civil aviation. It complements ongoing EU negotiations to bring about an EU-ASEAN Air Transport Agreement, benefitting both regions with increased air traffic, higher standards and better cooperation overall. Policy alignment will go hand in hand with building institutional capacity in the ASEAN region.

EASA will play a leading role in the management of this project. It is responsible for promoting the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation at EU level. In parallel, the EASA will implement the ARISE Plus project in the same field, successor of the ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP), which aims to develop an ASEAN single aviation market. The two projects, likely to start simultaneously, will build on the previous cooperation and incorporate the lessons learnt from it.

The EU’s Partnership Instrument funds projects that enable the EU to advance its strategic interests, shape global change and promote its fundamental values. Through the Partnership Instrument, the EU cooperates with partners around the world to address global challenges and find joint solutions to issues of mutual interest..

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Publication date
15 October 2018
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments