With Thai airlines facing sanctions over safety concerns, junta head may push aviation reform

Thailand's transport minister says the country's junta leader may exercise extraordinary constitutional powers to expedite safety improvements in the aviation sector, which is facing international sanctions.

The International Civil Aviation Organization recently designated Thailand's air safety standards as a cause for concern. That led Japan and other countries to block Thai airlines from adding more flights.

Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong said Monday that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha could exercise special powers to push necessary improvements in 45 to 60 days. He said making such changes would normally take years to go through the bureaucracy.

Prayuth recently said he intends to keep order by using the constitution's Article 44, which grants him authoritarian powers over almost all aspects of government.