Europe demands more pilots and better standards

Europe demands more pilots and better standards

(Photo by Narupon Hinshiranan)
(Photo by Narupon Hinshiranan)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) wants Thai aviation authorities to speed up the training of new pilots and to carefully certify aircraft operators.

Chula Sukmanop, director-general of the Airport Department and the Office of Civil Aviation, said on Thursday that EASA representatives checked the standard of the department and the aviation office on Nov 9 and 10. They did not lay down any conditions but gave recommendations for improvement to both organisations, he said.

EASA recommended an increase in personnel responsible for pilot training in order to speed up the production of pilots.

But it suggested the authorities should not try to speed up the certification of aircraft operators but follow the right procedures to guarantee standards, Mr Chula said.

Jaiyavat Navaraj, executive chairman of chartered airline MJets, said EASA representatives would check his airline and Thai Airways International from Nov 11 to 13 because both were operating flights to Europe.

He was confident his airline would pass the check. EASA was expected to announce the result of its inspections on Dec 15.

In late October the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States conducted a re-audit on Thai air safety but has yet to announce the result.

In July, the FAA found 41 flaws in Thailand's air safety standards and gave it 65 days to address them. They include a shortage of qualified staff to carry out airline safety inspections and a lack of a formal process in evaluating staff efficiency.

The issues that the FAA had identified were the same as those found by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which gave the country a red-flag alert in June, Mr Chula said earlier.

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