By The Nation
The US National Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an airworthy directive, effective October 3, for the inspection of Boeing 737-600, -700, -700, -700, -900, and - 900ER as cracks had been found on the left and right sides of the fuselage structure near the wings.
In a move to boost confidence of passengers, The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has provided details of the FAA directive.
1. Aircraft that have reached more than 30,000 flight cycles (1 FC means 1 take-down flight) must be checked by October 10, 2019.
2. Aircraft that have reached 22,600 - 29,999 flight cycles must also be inspected by October 10.
In addition, CAAT has examined the flight data of all Thai airlines.
1. Thai Lion Air has 30 Boeing 737 aircraft - 19 Boeing 737-900ER and 11 Boeing 737-800. The plane that have the highest Flight Cycles (FC) of 15,949 is a Boeing 737-900ER while the rest have lower cycles than specified in the FAA directive.
2. Nok Air has 14 aircraft, including Boeing 737 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Of its fleet, the HS-DBO must be checked and verified by the FAA by October 10 2019 as it has reached 30,565 flight cycles. The remaining 13 will also be checked by October 10 if their flight cycles exceed 22,600. CAAT will cooperate with Nok Air in this regard.
Wuthiphum Chulangkul, Chief Executive Officer of Nok Airlines Public Company Limited, said the carrier has a fleet of 22 aircraft - 14 Boeing 737-800 and 8 Q400s- with only one plane that has more than 30,000 flight cycles. Nok Air will conduct an inspection of the plane by October 10 in line with the requirements of the FAA and CAAT.
Thai Lion Air fleet has 11 Boeing 737-800 and 19 Boeing 737-900 aircraft. These planes with less than five years of service, all have less than 10,000 flight cycles and will not be affected by the FAA directive, said Thawan Thienthong, engineering director of the carrier.