Thailand gets partial Japanese reprieve
Japan has given Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) a reprieve, allowing the country’s carriers to operate chartered flights up to the end of May.
Six carriers, including NokScoot and Thai AirAsia X are now allowed to launch services, but cannot change aircraft type or routes.
Japan took the lead in clamping down on the country’s airline industry following a reportedly poor result from an ICAO universal safety oversight audit programme (USOAP) earlier this year.
ICAO was not satisfied with the initial response from the DCA, which suggested a two-year timeframe. ICAO has insisted that improvements should happen before the end of the year.
This has prompted Japan and a handful of other Asia-Pacific countries to take action, ranging from a halt on new flights from Japan, to increased monitoring an inspection from Singapore.
This is turn led Thailand’s military government to issue an edict giving it powers to implement changes. The Government plans to set up a National Civil Aviation Institute and Air Transport Department to oversee country’s aviation industry and its airports and infrastructure, respectively. Experts from EASA and the FAA will also be hired to ensure the standards are met.
The new plan will be submitted to ICAO. If they are not happy with it, then they have the power to issue a Significant Safety Concern against the country’s regulator.
This will severely impact the country’s airlines ability to add new services, change aircraft or to operate codeshares.