Thai airlines are expected to be removed of the red flag imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization for air safety shortcomings by the end of this year, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisit said on Monday.
The minister who presided over the presentation of the first Air Operator’s Certificate to Bangkok Airways by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand on Monday said an invitation was to be delivered to ICAO to send a team of inspectors to Thailand, expected in September, to follow up progress on significant safety concern issues pertaining to Thai airlines.
He said he believed the red flag imposed on Thai airlines would be withdrawn by yearend.
The minister noted that the presentation of AOC to Bangkok Airways represented a healthy sign for the rest of the airlines, about 22 of them, which are yet to be assessed. He added that the assessments of safety standard are to be sped up so that AOC could be awarded quickly.
CAAT director Chula Sukmanop said CAAT would speed up issuing AOC, expected on June 30, for six airlines namely Nok Air, Orient Thai, K Mile Air, Nok Scoot, Air Asia X and Thai Smile before they are to be assessed by ICAO.
If the six airlines fail to pass the CAAT’s assessments in June, Chula said that the airlines would be suspended from operations until they obtain AOC or until Thailand is removed from red flag by ICAO.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)