US FAA downgrades Thailand to Category 2

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has downgraded its safety rating of Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) from a ‘Category 1’ to a ‘Category 2’ rating, following earlier findings by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and its own recent assessment. Th e FAA said its downgrade meant that Thailand either lacked […]


The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has downgraded its safety rating of Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) from a ‘Category 1’ to a ‘Category 2’ rating, following earlier findings by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and its own recent assessment.

Th e FAA said its downgrade meant that Thailand either lacked the laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in line with minimum international standards – or that it was deficient in one or more areas. The US regulator said those areas could include technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures.

“A reassessment in July 2015 found that Thailand did not meet international standards,” the US regulation agency said a statement posted on its website on Tuesday. “Today’s announcement follows ongoing discussions with the government of Thailand which concluded on Oct 28,” it added. Th e decision means Th ai carriers could also be subjected to service curtailments or outright bans not only in other jurisdictions such as Europe and Asia.

Th e European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which also recently audited Th ailand’s aviation system, will release the results of its investigation on 10 December, but typically follows similarly with assessments made by the FAA. Should the EASA reach similar conclusions it would affect the ability of state-controlled Th ai Airways International to add flights to the 11 European destinations it currently serves.