ASEAN air chiefs unite with RTAF to ‘clear the air’ in Thailand pollution battle

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is gearing up to join forces with its ASEAN counterparts to combat air pollution, specifically honing in on the issue of fine particulate matter PM2.5. This announcement took flight during the annual ASEAN Air Chiefs Conference in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, which concluded today, with a mission to ‘clean up’ the skies.

The conference serves as a platform for air force leaders from the ten-nation bloc to deliberate on defence cooperation, counter-extremism measures, and disaster relief strategies. This year, the conference has also zeroed in on environmental cooperation efforts.

The RTAF’s commander-in-chief, ACM Alongkorn Wannarot, highlighted the force’s initiatives to combat the PM2.5 problem, largely attributed to widespread crop burning across Southeast Asia. He revealed that the RTAF, in association with the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation, established the Royal Rainmaking operation unit in 2015. The unit’s mandate is to extinguish wildfires, mitigate PM2.5 pollution, and augment water levels in Thai dams.

Atima Homtientong