Royal Inauguration of the Course
On November 3rd, 1999, the second day of the course, everyone, both lecturers and students, were awakened at the hotel by an early morning call at 5 a.m., in spite of the fact that the bus did not leave the hotel for AIT until 7. It was the beginning of a tiring yet exhilarating day, one which would see the inauguration of the course by Her Royal Highness Princess Mari Chakri Sirindhorn.
A marching band and bright decorations greeted the bus, and everyone took their seats in the auditorium early. The royal entourage arrived on time, and the Princess, who had just flown in from Switzerland, met the greeting party, and proceeded to the official opening ceremony.
After the presentation of gifts and documents, a welcome address was given by M. L. Birabhongse Kasemsri (AIT Board of Trustees), and this was followed by a report on the training course by Dr. Lal Samarakoon on behalf of the Training Course Organising Committee.
The Princess, who has strong ties with AIT and the remote sensing programme, then made a Royal address, which was followed by addresses by the Ambassador of the European Commission, His Excellency Michel Caillouët, Dr. Tasuku Tanaka (NASDA) and Dr. Venetia Stuart (IOCCG). After the keynote address by J. Aschbacher (JRC/SAI), the Princess was led to the poster session before everyone took a well-earned coffee break.