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Thailand’s aviation industry has been downgraded for safety reasons in the US.
The Federal Aviation Administration declared that Thailand does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety standards.
As a result Thailand has been downgraded to a Category 2 international aviation safety assessment rating in the US.
This 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,” the FAA said.
The Category 2 rating allows carriers from Thailand to continue existing services to the US but they are barred from starting new services to the US.
The country achieved its Category 1 rating in 1997, and held it following a reassessment in 2008. But a further review by the FAA in July “found that Thailand did not meet international standards”.
The downgrading follows ongoing discussions with the government of Thailand which concluded on October 28, the FAA said.
The action by the US regulator could lead to the possibility of bans on Thai-registered aircraft in Europe and Asia.
A spokesman for ICAO told the Daily Telegraph that it is working with Thailand "to help rectify some aspects of how it’s civil aviation authority oversees the implementation of international aviation safety standards”.
A European Aviation Safety Agency spokesman said: "We inspected in October the Thai airlines which applied for a Third Country Operators authorisation - authorisation that any non-European Union airline willing to fly to and out of the EU must get. They were OK."
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