Thai AirAsia passengers alight at Hat Yai Airport. TAA and Bangkok Airways are so far the only two airlines that have had their licences re-certified by the CAAT.
Thai AirAsia (TAA) had its licence re-certified by the Thai civil aviation authority in compliance with global safety standards.
Thailand’s largest low-cost carrier has become the second Thai-registered airline to complete the re-certification of its air operator’s certificate (AOC).
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is due to officially extend the re-certified AOC to TAA today as the authority’s AOC re-certification process progresses at a snail’s pace due to a critical shortage of auditing officials and technical complications.
More than 20 Thai-registered airlines are still awaiting AOC re-certification by the CAAT, which has significant bearing on the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) decision to remove the punitive red flag on Thailand for aviation safety shortcomings.
The issuance of the re-certified AOC to TAA came after Bangkok Airways became the first to get its AOC re-certified by CAAT on Feb 27 this year.
Both Bangkok Airways and TAA are in the first batch of airlines whose re-certification process the CAAT has targeted to complete by June 30, a deadline which airline executives describe as highly ambitious.
The CAAT set the deadline in the hopes of gaining ICAO audit approvals later this year.
The ICAO audit is to address the so-called significant safety concern levelled at the Thai civil aviation authority itself, rather than airlines, back in 2015.
Waiting in the wings for the first group include flag carrier Thai Airways International, Nok Air, NokScoot, THAI Smile, K-Mile Air and Orient Thai Airlines.
CAAT officials said re-certification of airlines in its initial group depends on each airline’s organisational complexity, the size of aircraft fleet, aircraft types and other operational complications.
Removing the ICAO’s red flag will clear constraints restricting Thai-registered airlines to operate internationally, especially in countries that strictly abide by ICAO rules, such as Japan, South Korea and the US.
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