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Thailand introduces new app to facilitate air traffic and aviation safety during rocket festival

Thailand introduces new app to facilitate air traffic and aviation safety during rocket festival

A new
application in Thailand was recently
introduced
during the traditional Bung Fai rocket launching festival
observed in May to June. The Bumpen application was used by the Geo-Informatics and Space
Technology Development Agency
(GISTDA) to facilitate the air traffic and to enhance the
aviation safety during the said event.

The Bun Fai rocket launch festival is an ancient local
festival that is celebrated in Yasothon, a province in Thailand’s northeast
region. This festival celebrates the traditional beliefs in supernatural powers
that help augment the production of rice crops, in preparation for the coming
planting season. Provisions for this event began several weeks before the
actual day. Rockets, of about nine metres in length, are paraded in the streets
until launch site is reached. Villagers, who are dressed in colourful and
traditional costumes, accompany the whole procession. The main attraction of
this event is the actual launching of each rocket individually from its platform.

GISTDA Executive
Director Anond Snidvongs said that by using the Bumpen application, which was
developed for government agencies, private companies and the general public,
his agency was able to regulate the launch of the rockets and guarantee
aviation safety during the festival.

GISTDA was
established on 3 November 2000 as a public organisation which assumes all responsibilities
and activities concerning space technology and geo-informatics applications.

GISAVIA platform,
from which Bumpen was created from, is also known as the Geo-Informatics
Platform for Aviation. GISAVIA has the dual use feature for security and
commercial aviation purposes, which is essential in supporting air traffic
expansion and socio-economic growth.

In a study
involving the development of GISAVIA, it was noted that global air traffic was
growing, especially in the ASEAN region. Some of the findings in the study
included rapid increase in air traffic volume and the possibility of ASEAN being
the highest region in terms of air traffic, in the future. Knowing this gives
Thailand the perfect economic opportunity.

Being located at
the heart of the ASEAN is a geographical advantage for Thailand. To engage in
the air transport industry within the region will be beneficial for the country.
In order to be considered a competitor in the region, higher significance is
given to increasing the efficiency of the systems related with air traffic. Addressing
the possible increase in demand by balancing the traffic volume is essential to
accommodate traffic. Moreover, development of the system will boost Thailand’s capacity
to develop its own aviation technology, thereby reducing its dependence on
foreign systems.

Stemming from
the GISAVIA platform, Bumpen application came to existence. During the Bun Fai
rocket launch festival, the application helped in notifying agencies and
officials of the exact location from which the rockers will be launching from.
Determining the risk areas will affect flight plans but is significant because
they need to adjust their existing plans to maintain safety.

Other possible use for the application that is
worth looking into would be for flying of drones, which also falls under
activities involving aerospace.

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