US FAA Restores Malaysia’s Category 1 Air Safety Rating
US FAA Restores Malaysia’s Category 1 Air Safety Rating

US FAA Restores Malaysia’s Category 1 Air Safety Rating

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has regained a Category 1 air-safety rating from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

On Friday, 30th September, at a press conference in Montreal, Canada, the Transport Minister said that the matter was something to be celebrated as it has been nearly three years since the Malaysian regulator was downgraded to Category 2. The Ministry of Transport and the CAAM had put in massive efforts to reinstate the global standing. Before this, Malaysia was one of just eight nations listed as Category 2 by the US FAA.

“We are very pleased to share that today, FAA has officially announced that Malaysia has regained Category 1 of the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating. For this extremely proud achievement, I applaud everyone at CAAM for their tireless effort and commitment to this success.”

Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong

Minister Wee, who is currently on an official visit to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal, Canada further stated that a Category 1 air safety rating means Malaysia’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO safety standards. Having regained Category 1, Malaysia will now be able to add flights and open new routes to the US, further boosting the country’s economic and tourism opportunities.

“With an IASA Category 1 rating, a country’s air carriers can establish service to the US and carry the code of US carriers. To maintain that rating, a country must adhere to the ICAO safety standards.

Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong

“Meanwhile, a Category 2 rating means the country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more aspects, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures,” he added.

FAA Findings and Resolving

The FAA assessment in 2019 found that the Malaysian authority needed to address 58 findings, and CAAM was able to resolve 25 of them in a relatively short time, while the 33 other findings took much longer to resolve.

Malaysia’s air safety rating was restored after all remaining 33 issues raised by the FAA were resolved. The Aviation Minister said that the issues picked up by the FAA in 2019 initially did not reoccur and the CAAM was able to resolve 29 out of the total issues from the second assessment by FAA in December last year in just six months.

“By mid-July this year, the FAA returned for a reassessment and CAAM had already completed all responses for the 29 findings and all corrective action plans were closed,” said Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

“The past two years have been a crucial period for CAAM as the whole organisation was restructured while various efforts were carried out to strengthen its workforce, documentation and develop comprehensive training policy for the inspectors,” he added during an online press conference.

Malaysian Airlines Group (MAG) congratulated the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) on the reinstatement of the country’s air-safety ranking to Category 1 by the US FAA.

“MAG is pleased to be able to support CAAM by being part of a Task Force that was formed to identify root causes, corrective action plans, and corrective measures in response to the downgrade in 2019.”

Malaysian Airlines Group

“MAG is confident that CAAM under the leadership of Captain Chester Voo and the rest of the management team, will be able to make significant contributions to the development of civil aviation’s safety and security in Malaysia.”

Alongside MAG, AirAsia Aviation Group also congratulated the CAAM and stated that the reinstatement of the Category 1 will open more opportunities for its future medium – to long-haul network plans, especially in the United States.

Cover Image: Airbus