Thailand strives for ICAO green flag

BANGKOK, 23 March 2017: Kasikorn Research Centre says the ongoing ICAO and FAA process of recertification of Thailand’s aviation industry will strengthen the country’s ambitions to regain its status as a top regional hub.

It noted that the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has now issued its first Air Operations Certificate (AOC) under an ongoing recertification programme,  27 February.

Bangkok Airways was the first recipient as part of CAAT’s recertification programme, in partnership with CAA International (CAAi), which is part of the International Directorate of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA).

Recertification started 12 September last year.

The remaining eight airlines are still in the checking process, but should gain their CAAT AOCs by June.

The eight airlines are Thai Airways International, Thai AirAsia, K-Mile Air, Orient Thai Airlines, Nok Air, Nokscoot, Thai AirAsia X and Thai Smile.

Thailand is expected to be audited by ICAO later this year to address the Significant Safety Concern (SSC) alert in 2015. CAAi will be providing audit preparation assistance to CAAT to help resolve the SSC.

“It is expected that the ICAO and FAA resolutions will be completed within the first half of this year and Thailand will be able to unlock its restrictions that impacted on flight confidence during the second half of this year.”

It added: “Once that happens, Thai airlines will be able to expand routes to Japan, South Korea and the United States that have to be delayed due to the restrictions.”

The centre estimates that if the ICAO and FAA issues are resolved successfully, Thai aviation business will be valued at THB288,700 million in 2017 and THB306,400 million in 2018.

“Unlocking the issue of air safety confidence will be a driving force “pushing Thailand to reassert itself as Southeast Asia’s aviation hub. This is in line with Thailand’s strong fundamentals… Thai airlines have a route network linking with Southeast Asian countries and strong infrastructure,” it said.

Kasikorn Research Centre is a subsidiary company of Kasikorn Bank, which conducts tourism and business research mainly on Thailand’s economy including tourism with reliable recommendations and indicators on business prospects.