Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has approved measures to prepare the aviation industry for the reopening of Thailand to foreign tourists, starting with Phuket on July 1 under the Phuket tourism “sandbox” scheme.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said, if the scheme is a success, a similar approach would be implemented in nine other tourism provinces, while the full reopening of the country will start within 120 days. It is estimated that, by the end of the year, the aviation industry will see a total of 1.4 million international passengers, 10 times the estimate for July.

He said the CAA has ordered airports to arrange flight slots, to prepare for the increasing number of visitors. When the country fully opens, the CAA expects to increase slots to 320 flights per day, to welcome foreign visitors, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. According to Mr. Saksayam, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is to inspect the flight readiness of all airports nationwide, to prepare for the expected sharp increase in flights, including safety inspections of airports, airlines, aircraft and pilots, using both onsite and remote audit methods, depending on the outbreak situation in each area