Thailand expects aviation boost after removal of safety “red flag”

The UN-back International Civil Aviation Organisation appears to have removed a red flag imposed on Thailand in 2015 over safety issues in its aviation sector.

ICAO imposed the red flag over a significant safety concern with the regulatory system as Thailand grappled with a big rise in tourism.  An SSC indicates that the state is not providing sufficient safety oversight to ensure the effective implementation of ICAO Standards

The country fell below the global average in all eight of the major safety areas published by ICAO but was particularly poor in terms of operations and organisation.

As a result, Thailand reorganised its Department of civil Aviation into three organisations: the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), the Department of Airports and a search and rescue function within the Ministry of transport.

The results of an ICAO audit conducted in September have yet to be officially confirmed but the organisation’s website Monday showed no red flag against Thailand.

This leaves Malawi, Kyrgyzstan, Haiti, Eritrea and Djibouti as the countries still displaying the marker.

The Nation quoted CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop as saying ICAO officials had inspected the Thai regulatory system and approved 33 measures tackling safety and other concerns.

Chula said the removal of the red flag would facilitate higher growth for Thailand’s  aviation sector and vowed to continue to upgrade the country’s regulatory standards.

The authority is also pushing ahead with moves to re-register Thai-registered airlines and re-issue air operator’s  certificates (AOCs).

Major passenger airlines such as Thai Airways International and Thai AirAsia have already been re-certified and a further 10 operators are expected to have new AOCs by January.

Those operators who have not received a re-certified AOC are banned from flying internationally.

ICAO officials said in June that the country’s procedures for issuing AOC’s had improved after regulators worked with the organisation and consultants.

The US Federal Aviation Administration’s website  on Monday still showed Thailand as category 2, meaning it does not meet ICAO standards.


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