Thailand's One-Two-Go faces criminal charges

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Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) plans to lay criminal charges following its investigation into the activities of Thai carrier One-Two-Go which it alleges falsified documents sent to the regulator.

The DCA deputy director, Wuthichai Singhamanee, says the department plans to lay criminal charges but he stops short of naming who will be charged adding it may be the company and it may be management.

Wuthichai is also the chairman of the sub-committee investigating September’s fatal crash at Phuket airport of a One-Two-Go Boeing MD-82 that resulted in the death of 90 of the 123 on board.

He was originally planning to release the final report at the end of July but on 21 July said the release has been delayed because they are still working on the report and that “maybe it will be end of August”.

The DCA on 20 July announced One-Two-Go would be grounded for 30 days with effect from 21 July.

It took this action in response to some of the findings from investigation into the airline.

Wuthichai says the DCA alleges the airline falsified documents relating to pilot proficiency checks (PPC).

The department also alleges One-Two-Go breached pilot flight duty time limitations, he says.

The DCA requires that every six months commercial pilots under-go a PPC “to ensure all pilots have proficiency and competency”, explains Wuthichai, adding that these PPCs involve ground school, going through safety procedures and doing some simulator training.

The DCA alleges it was able to determine the documents were false because they had the signature of the One-Two-Go official in charge of pilot checking and training and the DCA discovered that this person was actually away overseas on holiday when the documents were signed, says Wuthichai.

One-Two-Go operates a fleet of Boeing MD-80 series aircraft and has no flight simulator of its own so it sends its pilots to either Japan Airlines in Japan or to Lion Air in Indonesia for simulator training, he says.

The other allegation that the DCA has levelled against One-Two-Go relates to breaches of flight duty time limitations.

Commercial pilots are only permitted to operate aircraft for up to a certain number of hours each day but Wuthichai says the DCA alleges the airline breached these flight duty time limitations.

He says One-Two-Go and its sister carrier have 15 days to ensure that its pilots’ PPCs are in order.

The DCA has also ordered that One-Two-Go has a proper system in place for recording and controlling pilot rosters.

Even though Orient Thai Airlines is a sister carrier of One-Two-Go, Wuthichai confirms the 30-day suspension, at this stage, only applies to One-Two-Go.

Wuthichai also confirms seven of One-Two-Go’s pilots have been barred from operating aircraft in Thailand because they allegedly knew about the falsification of documents.

One-Two-Go’s boss, Udom Tantiprasongchai, was unavailable for comment today because he is currently overseas. When contacted on 21 July by ATI, the carrier’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the allegations made by the DCA but says later today the carrier will be issuing a statement in response to the DCA.


Source: Flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news