New tests for foreign pilots in wake of Phuket crash AMORNRAT MAHITTHIROOK
The One-Two-Go air tragedy at Phuket airport in September has prompted the Civil Aviation Department to require that all foreign pilots working in Thailand cooperate better with their Thai co-pilots. Deputy director-general of the department Wuthichai Singhamanee said that after the crash which killed 90 people in Phuket, officials observed One-Two-Go pilots during flights and found that the airline's many foreign pilots did not cooperate well with their Thai co-pilots.
The foreign pilots' working culture was different from that of the Thais, they said.
Thai pilots had to get to know each other before working well together, but foreigners did not need to do so, the official said.
The department is about to issue a new regulation requiring all foreign pilots working in Thailand to pass a test on their ability to cooperate with their fellow workers. The Crew Resource Management (CRM) test will focus on cooperation between pilots and co-pilots.
However, Mr Wuthichai denied that poor cooperation between the pilots was a factor behind the Sept 16 crash of the One-Two-Go flight, one of three budget airlines operating in Thailand.
Apart from the CRM test, the department will also require all foreign pilots working in Thailand to be tested on their knowledge of Thai aviation laws. The CRM and the Thai aviation law tests will apply to all foreign pilots working in Thailand.
At present, foreign pilots are only tested on flight simulators.
Mr Wuthichai added that aviation officials would also observe pilots in-flight on all other Thai airlines