Officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will this week undertake an inspection of Thai carriers NokScoot (XW, Bangkok Don Mueang), Orient Thai Airlines (OX, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), City Airways (GTA, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), and R Airlines (RCT, Bangkok Don Mueang) to determine the currentness of their MRO records and procedures.

However, according to two executives who spoke to the Bangkok Post on condition of anonymity, regardless of the inspections' outcome, CAAC will likely ban all Thai charter operators from serving China in a move, the sources claim, is designed to protect local Chinese carriers attempting to carve out their own niche in the growing China-Thailand market.

Despite the CAAC's protectionist move, it also has its own concerns about the overall state of Thailand's aviation sector given various safety oversights an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit of the country revealed back in March.

For its part, Japan could join China this week in banning Thai carriers from its airports after the Thai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) failed to update the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) on steps being taken to amend the deficiencies identified during the ICAO's USOAP audit.

Japan gave six Thai carriers including Asian Air (Thailand) (DM, Bangkok Don Mueang), Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), Thai AirAsia X (XJ, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), Jet Asia Airways (JAA, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), Asia Atlantic Airlines (HB, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), and NokScoot permission to operate charter flights to Japan from April 11 to May 31 on condition the DCA submit its corrective action plan to the JCAB for approval and keep it updated on any changes being made to improve the status-quo.

However, AINonline reports the DCA has yet to provide the JCAB with any of the required updates blaming the absence of a suitable standing committee for the break down in communications.

The DCA's plan - its second after the first was rejected - is to be submitted to the ICAO and the JCAB later this week for scrutinization and appraisal following which the ICAO will publish its findings insofar as the plans suitability and depth is concerned in mid-June.

As part of its remedies, Bangkok plans to establish two new organisations - the National Civil Aviation Institute and the Air Transport Department - to oversee the country's aviation sector and its airports and infrastructure respectively. In addition, existing aviation laws will be tightened while new regulations regarding the issuance of Air Operator Certificates (AOC) and Air Service Licences (ASL), as well the transportation of hazardous materials, will be drafted.

As such, experts from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be hired to ensure ICAO standards are met.

Thereafter, in July, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will undertake its own audit of Thailand's aviation licensing and airport security.