CAAT Plans to Finish AOC Recertification by End-2017
11th Oct 2017
This Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand made its intention to finish the recertification of the 10 remaining air-service providers by the end of 2017. The CAAT had previously set January 2018 as the deadline, but now wants to speed up this process and re-issue air operator certificates (AOCs) to the remaining uncertified Thai-based carriers.
The initial deadline by the CAAT was 31st August, 2017. By that time, most major passenger airlines, including Thai Airways International, Thai AirAsia and Bangkok Airways managed to get their AOCs reissued, but since several carriers stayed uncertified, the timeline was extended further to give them more time to deal with any issues that they are having.
In the meantime, more airlines are getting their AOCs. The last two were the charter service provider MJets and air-cargo operator K-Mile Thailand. MJets was recertified on 27th September and K-Mile Thailand on 28th.
Both airlines were banned from operating international flights on 1st September this year.
The airlines that remain uncertified and without an AOC are banned from operating international flights. This was one of the major demands the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had in order to lift the red flag status from Thailand.
ICAO red-flagged the country for significant safety concerns in civil aviation in June 2015, banning Thai-registered airlines from opening new international routes, or changing current routes (either by expanding them or changing the type of aircraft they are using).
The ICAO audit team had been in Bangkok for much of the last few weeks and by all accounts, they have returned to their headquarters in Montreal, Canada with positive experience from Thailand as the organization decided to lift the red flag status from the monarchy a few days ago.
However, several airlines still remain without an AOC and the CAAT wants to finish recertifying them. There’s currently no indication which carriers might be next in line, but according to some earlier reports, Orient Thai, a charter carrier focused on the Chinese market mostly, and the subsidiary of VietJet, Thai VietJet, could be next.