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Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand hopeful ICAO’s “red-flag” would be lifted soon

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is brimming with hope that the “red-flag” status that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) slapped on the country would be soon lifted.

The statement comes just days before the ICAO would touch down onto the Southeast Asian nation for a planned audit of the CAAT and its continuing efforts to address significant safety concerns raised by the aviation body.

The UN aviation watchdog had flagged the aviation safety standards of Thailand back in June of 2015.

CAAT Director Chula Sukmanop said their office has already amended the faults raised by the ICAO including adjusting related laws and regulations and granting Recertification of Air Operator Certificates (Re-AOC) to airlines.

He added the CAAT and the Transport Ministry are expecting to receive unofficial results of the ICAO evaluation on September 27, with the official results to come a month after.

Chula also announced that nine out of the 21 carriers that operate international flights has already been given Re-AOC and the CAAT plans to complete the process to the other 12 by January next year.

Completing the AOC re-certification is considered key in CAAT’s bid to reestablish Thailand’s aviation safety credentials. Asked about the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) order giving the CAAT authority to temporarily stop international flights by the 12 airlines, Chula said the mandate is to protect the CAAT.

He said the CAAT has been authorized by the NCPO’s special power under Section 44 of the interim constitution to suspend flights only when they fail to meet safety standards. However, these 12 airlines are still under examination and have yet to achieve recertification.

Government Spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the move was to accommodate the ICAO audit and assessment.

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