The United States Federal Aviation Administration has set Thailand 26 items that need rectification before its safety rating can be upgraded to Category I.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) states that a four-person team from the FAA conducted an audit of its oversight systems between 11-15 February that identified the deficiencies, but gave no specific details.
After the items have been rectified, the CAAT says it can then ask for a new audit, and that if passed, it will be upgraded to Category I status.
Under the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment programme, the Administration audits a foreign country’s regulatory system against ICAO criteria. Countries that have deficiencies are given Category II status, which prevents new carriers from flying to the US, or existing operators from adding new capacity on existing US routes.
Thailand’s aviation regulatory systems have been under scrutiny since an ICAO audit in early 2015 identified a number of “red flags” over the then-Department of Civil Aviation’s oversight and air operator certificate awarding process.
That led to some Thai carriers being barred from starting services to China, South Korea and Japan, while all airlines were forced to undergo a recertification process for their air operator’s certificates.
It also led to the DCA being replaced by the CAAT, and as a result of all those issues the red flags were removed by ICAO in October 2017.