CAAT gets tough with Thai airlines

BANGKOK, 6 September 2017: Airlines based in Thailand that failed to secure recertification under Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) rules by its 1 September deadline have been ordered to suspend flights.

CAAT introduced stricter Air Operators Certification (AOCs), in accordance with requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

According to the CAAT nine airlines had been recertified when the deadline passed 1 September.

Suspended airlines have been offered “temporary assistance” by the CAAT as they file for recertification, but they will not be able to resume services until they have been recertified.

Thai PBS news channel said there were 12 airlines and the Nation claimed 16. All told there are 24 airlines based in Thailand, some charters and cargo airlines and at least one small commuter airline.

The successful nine airlines identified by CAAT were:

Thai Airways International; Bangkok Airways; Thai AirAsia; Thai AirAsiaX; Nok Airlines; Nok Air Company (NokScoot); Thai Smile; Thai Lion; and Sabaidee Airlines (New Gen).

New Gen Airlines  (Sabaidee) was the last to gain recertification on 24 August.

CAAT wants to have a clean sheet on recertification when ICAO makes its next crucial check of the country’s aviation safety status later this month.

CAAT said in its statement it was offering “temporary relief assistance” to the airlines impacted by suspension without detailing the kind of assistance, but stating it would end by January 2018.

The ICAO is due to send delegates to inspect Thailand’s new aviation safety regulatory system during the third week of this month to review Thailand’s compliance with ICAO recommendations.  If the review is positive the “red flag” imposed on Thailand in 2015 due to safety concerns would be removed.

After ICAO delegates review the country’s overall aviation safety and regulatory system, ICAO is expected to report its assessment within the next 60 days, especially regarding the status of the red flag affecting Thailand.

In the meantime, for the  nine recertified airlines  it’s business as usual, while the suspended airlines will  not be able to operate international schedule or charter flights. CAAT indicated they would be able to fly domestic services, continue to sell tickets and to assist them parking fees could be reduced at some airports including U-tapao.

List of registered airlines in Thailand.