The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has appointed CAA International (CAAi) for technical assistance to implement new civil regulations into Thailand’s aviation system. The contract was signed on the first day of the ICAO 41st Assembly in Montreal.

Over the next five years, UK Civil Aviation Authority experts will work with their Thai counterparts to support the preparation, transition, and compliance of new ICAO-compliant standards. The new regulations will cover multiple domains, including Airworthiness, Flight Operations, Personnel Licensing, Aerodromes, Air Navigation Services, and Drones.

Speaking after the contract signing, Maria Rueda, Managing Director at CAAi, said:

“We are delighted to work with our regulatory counterparts at CAA Thailand once again. Having helped draft and develop a suite of new aviation regulations, we are honoured to have been asked to assist in their implementation and jointly continue the journey to enhance aviation safety standards in Thailand.”

During the project’s first phase, CAAi will help the Thai regulator prepare for the transition to the new regulatory framework. CAAi will work with CAAT to analyse the changes ahead and help establish transition plans. CAAi will also provide training for inspectorate staff to promote a common understanding of the new regulatory procedures. In addition, CAAi will advise on stakeholder engagement and assist CAAT with industry workshops that explain how the changes affect regulated entities.

Phase 2 will cover the transition of the new aviation regulations. CAAi will provide CAAT with practical on-the-job training to embed the new processes and procedures, working alongside Thai inspectors.

CAAT will lead the transition of approvals and licenses to the new regulatory standards and ensure all oversight functions are conducted under the new regulatory system in compliance with the international standards and recommended practices set out by ICAO.

Maria and Suttipong Kongpool

Photo: Mr. Suttipong Kongpool, Director-General (CAA Thailand) and Ms. Maria Rueda, Managing Director (CAAi) signing the contract during the ICAO Assembly in Montreal.

Suttipong Kongpool, Director-General from CAA Thailand, commented:

“CAAT is delighted to have CAAi as a consultant for this project. As CAAT has powers and responsibilities for regulating, controlling, promoting, and developing civil aviation in many aspects to be in line with laws and universal standards, CAAT has promulgated rules and regulations for regulating Thailand’s civil aviation. CAAT hired CAAi as a consultant to support Thailand in systematically following obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation by; developing Thailand Civil Aviation Regulations (TCARs) as a new scheme of secondary legislation on civil aviation safety, which is consistent with universal standards.

CAAT will then develop TCARs to be Thailand’s civil aviation rules and regulations. However, developing secondary legislation in the form and structure of TCARs is nouveau regime for Thailand and needs to prepare CAAT’s personnel, as well as create understanding and knowledge of stakeholders in the aviation industry to be governed by such rules and regulations in the future.

A comprehensive transition plan for implementing TCARs must be established to cover all areas of TCARs, as this will change Thailand’s civil aviation secondary legislation regime. To reach such goal, the plan and its implementation must be accurate, discreet, and systematic to avoid a gap in implementation and enforcement in each area, which may affect operators and stakeholders in the industry.

CAAT is confident that CAAi, with its experts equipped with experience, will be able to support the plan development and implementation in each step during a transition period from the current system to the new system so that each step and detail of the transition plan and implementation will be correct and systematic in line with international standards, which may not be that complete and may affect Thailand’s aviation industry. Also, this will help prepare CAAT’s personnel and industry stakeholders to be ready for performing their duties to reach standards and achieve utmost efficiency for the country.” 

This project builds upon successful collaboration between CAAT and CAAi in recent years. In 2017, CAAi assisted CAAT with the recertification of Thai-registered international airlines, leading to the removal of an ICAO Significant Safety Concern and a positive ICVM audit result by ICAO. More recently, CAAi supported CAAT in drafting new Thai regulations, manuals, forms, procedures, and checklists to underpin the new standards.

Matthew Margesson, Head of International Operations at CAAi, added:

“This project marks an important milestone for civil aviation in Thailand. With modernised, ICAO-compliant regulations, Thailand will build a solid, future-focused regulatory foundation to grow the Thai air transport sector safely and responsibly. We look forward to working with CAAT.”

The project will commence in October 2022 and is expected to complete in 2027.

CAAi and CAAT delegation

Photo: (Left to right). Mr. Matthew Margesson, Head of International Operations (CAAi); Mr. Ben Alcott, International Director (UK CAA); Ms. Maria Rueda, Managing Director (CAAi); Mr. Suttipong Kongpool, Director-General (CAAT); Ms. Piyawan Pramolsub, Legal Division (CAAT), Mr. Kajonpat Maklin, Manager of Aviation Safety Management and Standards Assurance Office (CAAT); and Ms. Chittinand Sukhakij, Inspection and Standards Development Group Senior Officer (CAAT).

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