16 Thai Carriers Fail CAAT Assessment and Suspend Operations
5th Sep 2017
The rules are clear when it comes to Thailand’s civil aviation sector. If an airline is unable to show that it can follow the safety and related regulatory guidelines, it won’t be allowed to operate any more. 16 Thai-registered airlines felt this first-hand as they all failed the safety assessment conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). These 16 airlines have been told to suspend their operations as of last Friday.
Of course, the CAAT must be strict with implementing these rules, if they don’t want to make the same mistake that led to Thailand’s civil aviation sector getting a “red flag” status being imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) back in 2015 for safety concerns.
Right now, Thailand is in the middle of re-issuing Air Operator Certificates (AOCs), in accordance with the requirements by the ICAO. 9 Airlines registered in Thailand have already received their AOCs, including Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways International (THAI), Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Nok Air, NokScoot, Thai Smile, NewGen Airways and Thai Lion Air. At the same time, 11 more carriers were in the process of applying for it.
Thailand’s fast growth in the civil aviation sector over the past couple of decades raised many issues regarding the safety of both domestic and international passengers traveling with airlines registered in this country. Following the red flag status, the aviation market in Thailand has been under heavy scrutiny by ICAO and the organization will send its delegates to Bangkok either this month or early in October to inspect how far the country has come in dealing with those safety problems.
If ICAO deems Thailand’s efforts to be sufficient, it will likely lift the red flag status and allow carriers registered in the country to once again fly without such restrictions as limiting its routes or not allowing them to expand on existing services with new flights or change aircrafts.
So far, it’s been going well for Thailand, with its major airlines already having received their AOCs and the ICAO has also given a green light to Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports in Bangkok in July after inspecting them for safety.