ICAO will revaluate Thai red flag status

BANGKOK, 24 February 2017: International Civil Aviation Organisation is due to conduct a security inspection of Thailand’s aviation 30 June.

According the National News Bureau of Thailand, Transport Minister, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, met with executives from 15 Thai airlines to notify them of the up-coming inspection.

He expressed confidence that Thailand’s aviation  would be given a clean bill of health on aviation and safety supervision prompting the country’s removal from the ICAO red flag list.

inside no 1The country has been on the red-flag list since June 2015 when ICAO notified Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (now defunct) that its supervision of the industry was substandard.

Nepal is the only other country red flagged by ICAO in the Asia Pacific. region At the time, 13 nations were flagged as substandard in their supervision of aviation safety.

Today, only eight nations remain on the red-flag list including Thailand and Nepal.

The 30th June inspection will focus on 33 key areas of Thailand’s aviation industry according to the Ministry of Transport.

The minister said a civil aviation bill is being finalised and will be promulgated soon, a move that is likely boost ICAO’s confidence in the government’s ability to supervise aviation standards.

A United Nations’ agency representing 190 country members, ICAO red flagged Thailand for “significant safety concern” following an unsatisfactory auditing of the country’s aviation safety inspection standards.

At the time ICAO said: “Significant safety concerns (SSC) does not necessarily indicate a particular safety deficiency in the air navigation service providers, airlines (air operators), aircraft or aerodrome[s]; but, rather, indicates that the state is not providing sufficient safety oversight to ensure the effective implementation of applicable ICAO standards.”

But the ICAO red flag did have an impact on airlines based in Thailand when in March 2016 Japan suspended talks on route expansion, or flight increases by Thai carriers that served Japan.

inside no 1.1It immediately scuttled plans by low-cost airlines to start services to Japanese cities, particularly impacting on Thai AirAsia and Nok Air.

During the 2015 evaluation, Thailand suffered particularly low scores in two ICAO measurements –  operations and organisation.

In operations, or the “state’s ability to properly oversee airlines under its jurisdiction”, it measured a low 10.71% compared to the global average of 54.94%.

As for organisational structure, it scored 7.69% compared with the global average of 66.9% according to ICAO ratings.

To strengthen its ‘organisation’ performance, the Thai government replaced the Department of Civil Aviation, 1 October 2015, with the independent entity, Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, that covers airport and airline regulatory standards and the Department of Airports that manages 30 airports that were previously under the DCA.

(Source: NNT)