Aviation in Thailand has a luxurious image that puts its accessibility out of most youngsters reach, unless they come from a very rich family. It costs more than Bt2.3 million for commercial pilot training and between Bt250,000 and Bt350,000 for training that guarantees a private pilot’s license.The high training costs are partly due to rising oil prices, with Jet-A1 costing more than Bt60 a litre.
But this didn’t stop a group of 10 lucky high-school students from dreaming to fly. Coming from the remote provinces of Udon Thani, Korat, Yala and Pattani, they are the 10 lucky winners in an essay contest that saw 770 submissions from students around the country.
Competing for a place in the San Fun Karn Bin (Weaving the Dream of Flying) Camp, they now have the opportunity to realise their dream of flying by training in actual Bt8-million flight simulators and experiencing a one-hour flight in training aircraft, all for free.
Of the 10 winners, four were female students all with serious aspirations to a career in aviation.
Kanokporn Kulsri, a Matthayom 5 student from Udonpittayanukoon School in Udon Thani in the Northeast, couldn’t believe she’d won the essay contest. She’s glad she’ll be able to fly for the first time in her life in this camp.
She says that, when sending her essay to the contest, she was teased by her classmates, who insisted there was no way she would win because students around the country were participating. Her friends ended up sorry they hadn’t also submitted essays, but glad that Kanokporn made it to the camp.
She’ll need to accept the fact that in Thailand right now, only Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia admit female candidates for their pilot positions. Thai Airways International has only male pilots.
Read the complete article at the link above.