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16 Thai airlines to suspend operations over safety fails

September 6, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Mystery last night surrounded the identity of 16 airlines registered in Thailand and reported to have failed safety and related regulatory assessments conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

A report in the online version of Thailand’s The Nation English-language newspaper, published since 1971, said the failures required the 16 airlines to suspend operations as of last Friday, until they obtained new Air Operator’s Certificates (AOCs).

It said authorities were enforcing stricter rules in accordance with requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The 16 airlines were not named.

At the start of this year, CAAT launched an inspection of all airlines operating international flights before it would issue them with AOCs in accordance with ICAO safety standards. The Bangkok Post reported at that time that the following nine airlines were expected to be granted AOCs: Thai Airways International (THAI), Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Nok Air, K-Mile Air, Orient Thai Airlines, AirAsia X, NokScoot and Thai Smile.

That occurred. Those nine are Thailand’s main aviation operators “flying 70% of the international flights (out of Thailand)”, CAAT director Chula Sukmanop said in January.

The 16 who have just failed are, presumably, smaller carriers.

Later this month or in early October, ICAO is due to send delegates to inspect Thailand’s new aviation safety regulatory system. Following that, the agency is likely to consider lifting its “red flag”, imposed in 2015 over safety concerns.

Written by Peter Needham

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