Thailand, ICAO Commit To Resolve Safety Concerns
Thai authorities will next year attempt to prove to ICAO that they have addressed safety concerns regarding the country’s aviation oversight.
During a recent visit of ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu to Thailand, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said the government is committed to resolving ICAO’s serious safety concerns (SSC) as quickly as possible. The government expects “to be ready for a follow-up mission by ICAO in June 2017,” Chan-ocha said. Thailand would have to pass an ICAO audit for the SSC to be removed.
Chan-ocha highlighted the support Thailand is receiving from ICAO’s Bangkok-based Asia and Pacific Regional Office as the country builds up its regulatory staff. ICAO and the Thai government have agreed to “accelerate their cooperation” to resolve the SSC.
ICAO highlighted the safety concerns in 2015 after an audit of Thailand’s aviation authorities. After the SSC were issued, a handful of nations placed restrictions on Thai airlines. The U.S. FAA downgraded its safety rating of Thailand, meaning no new U.S. services or partnerships can be started by Thai carriers.
This year the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority also began working with Thai authorities to help address the ICAO concerns (Aviation Daily, April 20).