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Transport Ministry sets goal for FAA to move Thai aviation standard to higher level next year

The Transport Ministry has set a goal for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States to move up the Thai aviation standard from Category 2 to Category 1 by March 2018, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Wednesday (Dec 20).

Mr Arkhom said this while attending a regional conference on Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) in Bangkok today (Dec 20).

He said FAA, an agency with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation, in 2015 moved the Thai aviation standard down to Category 2 because Thailand still lacked experienced pilots.

Therefore, the Transport Ministry has set a goal for the FAA to move Thailand back to Category 1 in March 2018 because it has solved the problem by authorising the captains of all airlines to guarantee the experience of pilots under their supervision before they can apply for a pilot licence, Mr Arkhom said.

He added that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Union also agreed to this practice.

Mr Arkhom said Thailand still needs to make improvements in several aspects, particularly personnel for checking aviation standards to open wider an opportunity for Thailand to increase its flights to various countries.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his opening speech at the GASeP regional conference, said that Thailand had continued to uplift its aviation standards to an international level. The ICAO's removal of the red flag from Thailand in October indicates the Thai government's determination to make the Thai aviation win acceptance and confidence from other countries.

The prime minister said Thailand will develop and maintain the Thai aviation safety continuously in the next three years to cope with all challenges from changes in the world situation and various forms of threats. The government's intention is for Thailand to be a regional aviation centre to spur investment, trade and economy as well as job creation.

Chula Sukmanop, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), said those attending the two-day GASeP conference will learn from exchanges of opinions among aviation representatives from 26 countries to draw up a plan for world aviation safety in the next four years because each country has a different kind of threat.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)