Thai airlines face scrutiny over safety, bans on new flights

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand is facing bans on new international flights and increased inspections after the International Civil Aviation Organization said there are significant concerns about the country's aviation safety.

The ICAO's designation of Thailand as a "significant safety concern" has not been announced publicly by the U.N. agency but governments were informed last week.

An official from South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Friday that the ICAO made the designation on March 20.

The official said the ministry has yet to make a decision on new flights from Thailand-registered airlines. But he said it was highly unlikely they would be approved. He said flights currently operating between Thailand and South Korea will not be affected.

A Japanese aviation official said Japan is withholding approval for new flights.