FAA downgrades Thailand to Category 2

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FAA downgrades Thailand to Category 2

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FAA downgrades Thailand to Category 2

By Ofonime Essien

FAA Downgrades



FAA has downgraded Thailand’s aviation safety rating, a move widely expected following audits of the Thai regulator by the US agency and ICAO.

The downgrade means Thailand is rated as Category 2 instead of Category 1 under the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment program. Such a rating reflects oversight deficiencies with national aviation authorities rather than problems with specific airlines. However, airlines are most affected as they are not allowed to introduce new service to the US.

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A team from FAA visited Thailand to conduct its audit in the week of July 13, and found oversight concerns. The Thai government was given a set period of time to attempt to address these issues.

Thai Airways was the only Thailand-based carrier serving the U.S., with a route to Los Angeles, but it canceled that flight in October. However, the agency was well into its audit when the route cut was announced.

Safety issues were first identified by ICAO in March, after a scheduled audit of Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). ICAO identified what it categorized as significant safety concerns (SSCs) mainly relating to how the state certifies its airlines. These concerns range from staffing levels to manuals and procedures.

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After the DCA was informed, it was given 90 days to resolve the SSCs. While it took some measures that would allow it to start recertifying all of its airlines, it did not do enough to meet the deadline. So in June Thailand became the 13th nation to be “red-flagged” on ICAO’s aviation safety list.

The red flag status does not in itself impose any restrictions, but it serves as a guide to national aviation authorities. Japan was among the first to respond, blocking most charter flights and preventing Thai carriers from starting new services. Others, including Korea, took similar steps.

Source: Aviation Week Network

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About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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