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Thailand spared from EU’s blacklist of airlines

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– National news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Thailand spared from EU’s blacklist of airlines
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: BRUSSELS, Dec 10 The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) expressed concern about Thailand’s air safety oversight on Thursday but not did include any Thai carriers in an updated list of airlines banned from flying in the European Union.

Some analysts had expected the EU could follow the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which last week downgraded Thailand’s safety ratings, saying the Thai civil aviation body had failed to tackle flaws in its commercial aviation standards.

The EU says it makes an overall assessment of a country’s aviation system when assessing which carriers can fly into the bloc.

Thai Airways International, which flies to 11 destinations in the EU, is the only Thai airline that currently flies into the 28-member bloc. The European Commission, the EU executive arm which works with EASA, said it would monitor Thailand’s safety record.

“If the protection of air passengers against safety risks so requires, the Commission could then propose to include one or more air carriers from Thailand in the Air Safety List,” the Commission said in a statement.

Thai Airways president Charumporn Jotikasthira told reporters the decision was a relief, but “going forward, we have a lot of homework to do given EASA will monitor closely and review every six months.”

The Commission did add Iraqi Airways and Blue Wing Airlines of Suriname to its list, due to be published in full on Friday, while Kazakh carrier Air Astana was removed and can now operate in the EU, it said in a statement. Indonesian carrier Lion Air remained on the list, according to an EU official.

Thailand has been under growing pressure over its air safety.

The Southeast Asian country was downgraded by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) earlier this year due to safety concerns although Thailand has since taken action to ease those concerns.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, in its downgrade last week, did not give details but said Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation was “deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures”.

Thai Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told a news conference the Thai government and aviation body would continue to work with EASA, FAA and other international audit agencies to improve safety standards.

Thai authorities plan to re-evaluate licences of Thai airlines to make sure they meet international standards.

EASA visited Thailand earlier this year and on Wednesday Thailand’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation signed an agreement with the European body in which EASA would help Thailand improve its air safety oversight.

Europe is Thailand’s second largest tourism market. About four million European visitors travel to Thailand every year, and will account for about 18 percent of total international visitors this year, according to Thai tourism authorities.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Digital Government Development Agency

Foreign tourists travelling to Thailand will need to download the Covid-19 contact tracking mobile application “ThailandPlus” before arriving in Thailand and use it throughout their stay. The app will notify travellers if they have been in close contact with any confirmed cases.

Throughout their trip to Thailand, tourists will need to keep the app “on” and check in and out of various locations by scanning QR codes. The app requires access to the smartphone’s GPS , but the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the information collected will only be used for public health purposes and will not infringe on the tourists’ right to privacy.

Travellers will also need to upload a recent headshot as well as supply their Certificate of Entry number and reference ID from the Royal Thai Embassy.

The app is a spinoff to the “Thai Chana” and “Mor Chana” apps. All use GPS and Bluetooth as well as QR code scanning to detect the users’ locations. The apps sparked controversy and many Thais expressed concerns about their privacy, but the government has assured the public that information will be kept private.

The development of the app is a collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Digital Government Development Agency.

Click HERE to download the ThailandPlus.

SOURCE: TAT

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Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25 | The Thaiger

Today on Thailand News Today, a number of government ministers have ended up in jail, the vaccines are about to roll out but experts say the injections are not the end of the pandemic, and A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national. We’ve also get a special report on the channel about accusations that surfaced this week that Covid 19 may not have started in Wuhan at all, but in Thailand. That’s all coming up now on Thursday’s Thailand News Today.

A number of government ministers have been jailed for their part in protests against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra that crippled Bangkok and ultimately led to the 2014 military coup. Yesterday, the Criminal Court handed prison sentences to 29 former members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, some of whom were serving as MPs in the current Chan-o-cha administration.

Police have shut down a network of online casinos in raids that took place across 7 provinces, with 19 suspects arrested, and cash and other goods seized. In total, 8 online casino networks in 7 provinces have been shut down, with police apprehending 19 out of a total 22 suspects.

A specialist in infectious diseases at the Faculty of Medicine of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says the arrival of vaccines does not mean it will automatically be safe to re-open to foreign visitors. Thira Woratanarat says opening the borders too soon will only put Thailand in more danger, pointing to a lack of data on the efficacy of vaccines against transmission.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health is being praised after seemingly doing an about face over whether Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market could be the source of Covid‐19. After health officials denied that the World Health Organisation was investigating the market, a recent Facebook live press conference saw the Ministry acknowledging that unregulated wildlife trades may endanger public health.

A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national, leaving his nose broken and face bloodied. The 24 year old Salvatore Chilean, filed a report to the Pattaya City Police at around 2am this morning after saying he had left a nightclub on Pattaya’s Walking Street after it had closed.

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers

Caitlin Ashworth

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Thailand officials want more native speaking English teachers and plan to recruit more than 10,000 English teachers for 300 schools to improve English proficiency among Thai students. To help draw in potential teachers, the Education Ministry is teaming up with the Canadian Embassy in Thailand.

Teachers will be placed in schools once the pandemic has eased. Recruitment for the plan is expected to be completed by May, according to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. He says the Cabinet has approved an agreement between the ministry, embassy and the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for the recruitment plan.

The ministry plans to focus on teaching language in early levels of education because young students are at a suitable age for building communication skills, Nataphol says. Teachers will be either native English speakers or Thai teachers who hold an English degree, according to Nataphol.

Along with 10,000 English teachers, the Cabinet also plans to recruit 10,000 Chinese teachers. Teachers will also receive training.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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