Friday, July 25, 2008



Thailand‘s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) intends to lay criminal charges following its investigation into the activities of Thai budget 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 doesn't state specifically 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 One-Two-Go Boeing MD-82 which crashed at Phuket airport in September that resulted in the death of 90 of the 123 on board.

The DCA on 20 July announced One-Two-Go would be grounded for 30 days with effect from 21 July. Wuthichai says the DCA has accused the airline of falsifying documents relating to pilot proficiency checks (PPC) and also that One-Two-Go breached pilot flight duty time limitations.

The DCA requires that every six months commercial pilots under-go a PPC "to ensure all pilots have proficiency and competency", involving 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, who it later transpired was actually away overseas on holiday when the documents were signed.

One-Two-Go operates a fleet of Boeing MD-80 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.

Commercial pilots have a strict operational timetable but the DCA alleges One-Two-Go breached these flight duty time limitations.

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

Seven of One-Two-Go's pilots have been barred from operating aircraft in Thailand because they allegedly knew about the falsification of documents.

When contacted on 21 July by ATI, One-Two-Go's spokeswoman declined to comment on the allegations made by the DCA but says the carrier will be issuing a statement in response to the DCA later today.

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