Connect with us

Thai Life

Up in the air: THAI not banned from European airspace



PHUKET: After a slew of bad news for Thai commercial aviation abroad, the industry finally got a much needed piece of good news with the December 10 announcement by the European Commission (EC) that no Thai airlines were included on the updated Air Safety List drawn up by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Some industry analysts had mistakenly feared that EASA might follow in the footsteps of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which early this month downgraded Thailand to a Category 2 rating, citing the failure of its now-defunct Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to comply with international aviation standards, as mandated by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The DCA has since been replaced by a new agency known as the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), which will oversee a much needed overhaul of aviation safety standards in Thailand, to ensure compliance with ICAO standards.

The ICAO red-flagged Thailand in June after the results of an audit conducted earlier in the year were announced. Several countries, including Japan, South Korea and China imposed new restrictions on Thai carriers operating in their air space, not allowing them to add new flights or change schedules on existing routes until improvements are made and recognized by ICAO.

While the FAA ban is a major blow to Thailand’s safety reputation abroad, it comes with no direct effect on any Thai carriers since none currently operate flights to North America. It came as a surprise to some when THAI dropped its service to Los Angeles in late October, given that the city’s unofficial nickname is ‘the 78th Thai province’ because it is home to some 80,000 of the estimated 120,000 Thais who call California home.

As for EASA, most of the fear and trepidation regarding an across-the-board downgrade turned out to be misplaced, because the EASA report only deals with whether or not to allow THAI and jet charter firm MJets – the only two Thai carriers currently operating to Europe – to continue service over European airspace.

Much of the confusion stemmed from the fact that EASA does not function in the same way as the FAA. It does not typically audit civil aviation in other countries, leaving that task to ICAO. Rather, it looks into safety aspects of operations of individual carriers using their airspace. So the good news is that neither THAI nor MJets were included in the list and they will be allowed to continue flying to Europe.

A press release issued by the EC on the topic addressed Thai concerns directly.

No air carriers from Thailand were added to the Air Safety List at this time. The EC and EASA are willing to continue to work with authorities to enhance aviation safety in the country. The EC and EASA will, however, closely monitor future developments, and if the protection of air passengers against safety risks so requires, the EC could then propose inclusion of one or more air carriers from Thailand in the Air Safety List.

— Stephen Fein


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand22 mins ago

Thailand News Today | Storm Noru causing floods, death in northeast Thailand

Thailand24 mins ago

Airspace over Bangkok airport closed for airforce parade

Phuket44 mins ago

Four alleged investment scammers arrested in Phuket

Sponsored1 day ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Thailand1 hour ago

1 year old child allegedly snatched while parents slept

Air Pollution1 hour ago

For health reasons – Bangkok’s proposed congestion charge

Bangkok1 hour ago

As rain pours down on northern Thailand, Bangkok ups its canal drainage

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Cannabis1 hour ago

Traditional Thai medicine clinics offering cannabis treatments in Thailand

Health2 hours ago

Fizz buzz – Will kratom drinks ever hit the spot?

Patong2 hours ago

Four suspects admit they assaulted US tourist in Patong

Hot News3 hours ago

Doctor’s “sorry, not sorry” attitude after alleged hit-and-run of students lands him in hot water

Thailand3 hours ago

Police ignore cheating antics of drunk Bangkok cabbie

Pattaya3 hours ago

Third baby elephant of the year born at Pattaya garden

Thailand4 hours ago

Thai doctor warns against eating bats after ‘bat hunter’ sells for 100 baht per kilo

World4 hours ago

Kamala Harris visits South Korea a day after North Korea fires missiles

Events4 hours ago

Spartan Race to hit Phuket in November

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11