Alongside the Hu Hin Airport there are a separate series of buildings operated by the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC). This is a State enterprise under the Thailand Government Ministry of Transport responsible for training and development of aviation human resources, aircraft maintenance services and other aircraft related resources.
The CATC in Hua Hin is one of three Centres in Thailand. The Centre is Bangkok has administrative and ground – based training responsibilities with Hua Hin being the country’s main flight training and aircraft maintenance centre. Flight training programs are also available at Khon Kaen Airport.
At CATC Hua Hin you will find programs related to range of industry requirements including aircraft maintenance engineering, communications maintenance, aircraft instruments and commercial pilot licencing (aeroplane or helicopter).
PRIVATE PILOT LICENCING
Learning to fly is a frequent item on many people’s ‘bucket list’ that may be in reach for Hua Hin residents as private aeroplane and helicopter licencing is available at the Hua Hin CATC.
There’s a process to follow for applications which will include lodging an application in person in Bangkok and some requirements before you start but if you are really eager it’s possible.
- Completion of High School Education
- Good command of written and spoken English
- Aptitude in mathematics and physical sciences
- Minimum 18 years of age (no maximum)
- Pass the Aviation Medical examinations (physical and psychological)
Duration and Content:
- 20 weeks duration
- Ground training 154 hours
- Flight training 45 hours
Current Cost: 386,000 THB (subject to amendment)
The private pilot’s licence will be fully accredited by the Thailand Government and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that will be recognised worldwide.
There are currently some 14 instructors at the Centre and some 90 students in a variety of courses and stages of their training.
You are likely to meet Captain Chinnakrit Munchawna, the Acting Director of The Flight Training Division. He has a background of pilot and instructor training in both the Royal Thai Airforce and Army and had logged some 4,500 hours flying before joining the ACATC nine years ago. His experience now adds up to over 8,000 hours flying. The Captain introduced us to the flight simulation ‘machines’ as well as a tour of the other CATC facilities, very impressive and professional.
WHAT ABOUT ‘JOY’ RIDES?
It’s not widely known that joy rides through the resources of the CATC are on offer. This has never been developed as a ‘commercial’ or a tourist attraction and begs the question – why not?
As an example a one hour flight over Sam Roi Yot, then heading inland and North over Kaeng Krachan National Park and following the coastline back over Cha – Am back to Hua Hin. This has the potential to be a popular attraction for those to see the countryside (and coastline) with a bird’s eye view.
Hua Hin & Cha-Am Today has been invited to take a ‘joy ride test flight’ and we will report on this adventure in the next edition!