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Aircraft on Phuket: Thailand has been assigned Category 2 on safety

US Federal Aviation Administration Revises Thailand's Air Safety Rating

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
WASHINGTON: The US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that the Kingdom of Thailand does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety standards and has been assigned a Category 2 rating based on a reassessment of the country's civil aviation authority.

US and Thai aviation officials have a long-standing cooperative relationship and both our countries work continuously to meet the challenge of ensuring aviation safety.

A Category 2 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating means that the country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or its civil aviation authority - a body equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters - is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures.

With a Category 2 rating, Thailand's carriers can continue existing service to the United States. They will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States.

Thailand was assigned an initial Category 2 rating in 1996 and received a Category 1 rating in 1997. Reassessments of Thailand in 2001 and 2008 continued the Category 1 rating.

A reassessment in July 2015 found that Thailand did not meet international standards. Today's announcement follows ongoing discussions with the government of Thailand which concluded on October 28.

As part of the FAA's IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code sharing arrangements with US partner airlines, and makes that information available to the public.

The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

A Category 1 rating means the country's civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. With an IASA Category 1 rating, a country's air carriers can establish service to the United States and carry the code of US carriers.

In order to maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations' technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.

IASA information is posted at www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa/.

Comments

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The results from the FAA link still shows Thailand as Category 1.
Do you have a direct link with source and info on Category 2 ?
Would be curious as to what airlines/airports are in violation, etc..

Posted by Mat on December 1, 2015 22:32

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@ Mat

Only Thai airline flying to the US was TG and only to LAX. They stopped the service late October in anticipation of this downgrade.

However there are far more serious consequences. TG is part of Star Alliance and a large part of TGs international passengers comes from codeshare partners.

These partners and Star Alliance as a whole will now urgently need to reassess the situation. Liability issues are of primary concern.

If an airline sends it's ticketed passengers to a Category 2 Airline and something goes wrong, you can imagine the following lawsuits.

This alone can cause severe disruption in TG / PG passenger traffic.

Bangkok Airways also codeshares with many OneWorld and other airlines and is facing the same situation.

In addition EASA is due to publish it's results on Dec 15th. So far they have always mirrored the FAA verdict. In the past decade both all Indonesian and Philippine registered airlines were rated Category 2.

The reaction of EASA was to ban all of them from EU airspace. You can expect the same to happen to Thai registered airlines. This will stop all flights to Europe and leaving both Asian and AUS/NZ in a difficult situation.

This downgrade has a very real possibility of shutting down all international travel by all Thai registered airlines. The SSCs (Serious Safety Concerns) are with DCA (Thai Department of Civil Aviation).

Specifically in them not having enough qualified staff to ensure if airlines comply with safety regulations or not.

In short, they have no idea and no way to check if Thai airlines are safe or not. Something that is neither easy nor quick to fix.

Even if one is not concerned about safety, one should realize that any international ticket bought on any Thai registered airline today may soon be useless due to a looming ban.

Sure you'll get a refund but you will not be flying.

Posted by Herbert on December 2, 2015 06:26

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A funny side note - if you go to THAI website / booking and scroll down the list of departure or destination, you will find the strange country called

LAX State of America

which, according to TG, appears to be in San Jose, CA.

As lax as some may think the USA is, it's not exactly conveying a message of professionalism within TG.

http://www.thaiairways.com/en_TH/index.page

Posted by Herbert on December 2, 2015 08:27

Editor Comment:

The rest of the world is a foreign place, Herbert.

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Until appropriate responsibility is shown for the One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 crash in 2007 it's hard to imagine anyone taking Thai aviation authorities seriously. There's been a lot of dodging and ducking when survivors and victims' relatives ask pointed questions.

Posted by Sam Wilko on December 2, 2015 11:09

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Here is an excellent article on the repercussions and overall state of Thai aviation.

http://goo.gl/1usYAl

Posted by Herbert on December 5, 2015 09:32


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