CAAT happy with lifting of 'red flag'
Yesterday's confirmation that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has lifted its punitive red flag on Thailand has been welcomed by the Thai aviation industry.
In a statement on its website, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) said: "Although lifting the red flag is a significant turning point for the aviation industry, Thailand and the CAAT must carry on their mission to improve aviation safety standards."
Thai-registered airlines, eager to spread their wings on new international routes, particularly to Japan and South Korea, are now free to do so, subject to normal regulatory approval, now the 2015 restriction has been lifted.
The UN aviation watchdog's decision will also mean less stringent inspections on Thai aircraft serving European Union airports.
Lifting the red flag is a positive development that will be welcomed by the tourism sector and the Thai travelling public, critics say.
But they say Thailand's reputation will only be fully restored when the FAA returns the nation to Category 1 status. Currently demoted to Category 2, restrictions remain on operations by Thai-registered airlines to the US.
Djibouti, Eritrea, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan and Malawi still have ICAO red flags.