ICAO lifts red flag from Thailand's aviation industry


The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has removed the red flag designation from Thailand's aviation industry, which has been scrutinised in recent years due to safety concerns.

Confirmation of the removal appeared on ICAO's website, though the organisation has not issued any statement related to the decision.

Thailand's aviation sector was originally marked with the red flag on 18 June 2015.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), the decision to lift the designation resulted from a meeting held by the ICAO SSC Committee to discuss Thailand’s current status with regard to significant safety concerns (SSC).

A team from the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) visited Thailand last month to verify the progresses and corrective measures taken to resolve 33 SSC prior to the meeting.

The ICAO team also made a visit to CAAT during the audit and discussed various findings with CAAT representatives, primarily in relation to the certification of air operators.

"Thailand must continue to progress the corrective actions for all findings from the previous inspection in January 2015 under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Approach."

In addition, the ICAO team visited two Thailand-based airlines that recently received Air Operator Certificate (AOC) recertification.

CAAT said in a statement: “Although lifting red flag is a significant turning point for her aviation industry, Thailand, as well as CAAT, need to carry on their missions to improve the aviation safety standards and become one of the world’s forefront. 

“Thailand must continue to progress the corrective actions for all findings from the previous inspection in January 2015 under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Approach (USOAP-CMA). 

“Similarly, all findings from the recent audit under the Universal Security Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) during 11-21 July 2017 must be rectified.”

CAAT has worked with various Thailand-based governmental agencies, and experts from the UK, France, Japan and the European Union to receive technical assistance with solving the SSCs.

A total of 11 Thai airlines have been granted with new AOCs from ICAO to date. 

The ICAO is set to submit an official audit report on the latest ICVM to the country before the end of the month.