The United Nations aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), has removed Thailand’s Significant Safety Concern on its website, following a recent visit by ICAO auditors.
In 2015, Thailand was penalised by ICAO over the inadequate safety oversight of Thai registered carriers. Afterwards, the US aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Agency, downgraded Thailand to Category II status, restricting all Thai carriers from flying into the United States.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s technical cooperation arm, CAA International (CAAi), has been supporting CAA Thailand (CAAT) since April 2016 to help lift the safety “red flag”. CAAi experts have been on the ground in Thailand, providing expert assistance to help CAAT recertify all 20 airlines to the international standards of ICAO. Additionally, CAAi has supported CAAT on the preparation for the ICAO visit, resulting in the Significant Safety Concern being successfully removed by ICAO.
Maria Rueda, CAAi Managing Director said, “We are delighted for CAA Thailand, the Thai aviation and tourism industry and air passengers from around the world travelling to Thailand that ICAO has removed the Significant Safety Concern. With almost 800,000 passengers1 flying to Thailand from the UK alone last year, it is vital the country has an internationally recognised regulatory framework to keep the travelling public safe and to best support the levels of market growth anticipated in the region in the years to come”.
Efforts to strengthen the Thai aviation regulator’s oversight capability will continue. In collaboration with CAAi, the next phase of the cooperation agreement will address CAAT’s corporate regulatory systems and other strategic sustainability needs, along with new Regulations and Guidance materials, to ensure CAAT is a strong and autonomous aviation regulator.
Dr. Chula Sukmanop, Director General of CAA Thailand said, “CAAi has played a very big part in our success from the beginning. The system they suggested for the recertification process and their assistance in its implementation paved the ways for our completion of the actions to resolve the significant safety concern, leading to the lifting of the red flag”.
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