CAAM reinstated in Cat 1

PETALING JAYA: The global reputation of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) as an aviation regulator has finally been restored with its reinstatement as the technical and safety regulator of category 1 by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This is something to celebrate as it has been nearly three years since CAAM was downgraded to Category 2, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The FAA’s assessment focuses on CAAM’s role as an aviation regulator and is not an assessment of Malaysian airlines or airports. But due to Category 2 status, CAAM-authorized airlines will not be able to add new routes to and from the United States, or enter into new codeshare agreements that involve flying there.

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A Category 2 classification means that the country lacks the necessary laws or regulations to oversee air carriers to minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas, such as expertise technical staff, trained personnel, record keeping or control procedures.

“We are very pleased to share that today (yesterday) the FAA officially announced that Malaysia has regained International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1, and for this extremely proud, I applaud everyone at CAAM for their tireless efforts and commitment to this success,” said Dr. Wee, who spearheaded CAAM’s transformation process after assuming the role of Minister of Transport in March 2020. .

As part of the change, Dr Wee has tapped Tan Sri Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman, the former director general of the civil service, to be chairman of CAAM, and career pilot Datuk Capt Chester Voo, to be CEO. .

In November 2019, the FAA announced that Malaysia had been assigned a Category 2 rating under the IASA program due to non-compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards. after a CAAM reassessment earlier that year.

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“Under the IASA program, the FAA assesses civil aviation authorities in all countries with air carriers that fly to the United States or participate in codeshare agreements with U.S. partner airlines “, Dr. Wee said, adding that these assessments determine how diligently a foreign civil aviation authority adheres to ICAO safety standards.

“The 2019 FAA assessment found that CAAM needed to address 58 findings, with CAAM able to resolve 25 in a relatively short time, while 33 other findings took significantly longer to resolve,” said Dr. Wee, who gave a press conference. yesterday in Montreal, headquarters of the ICAO, where he attends the general assembly of the ICAO.

Captain Voo, who was part of the delegation, expressed his gratitude to the department and the FAA for their support in reinstating CAAM as a Category 1 regulator.

“There were 301 FAA audit questions that required 403 critical item responses, and I would like to express my gratitude to the FAA for their very informative and detailed efforts to achieve the best in safety for the civil aviation industry.

“I would also like to thank the working group, which I am also part of, for helping us with all the conclusions, and everyone. All the stakeholders have been extremely supportive and helpful,” he said.

He said a special mention should be given to Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, AirAsiaX and Batik Air for their technical support and assistance.

“It showed that Malaysia is compliant and has now demonstrated that we have an effective safety oversight capability.

On behalf of our entire team, I want to commit to all that we will do to facilitate an inclusive aviation industry without compromising on safety,” said Capt Voo.

Among others, the Malaysian delegation included Khairul Adib, Secretary General of the Ministry of Transport Datuk Isham Ishak, Executive Chairman of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim, CEO of Malaysia Aviation Group Capt Izham Ismail, CEO of ‘AirAsia Malaysia Riad Asmat, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd Managing Director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood and Batik Air CEO Captain Mushafiz Mustafa Bakri.

Malaysia’s participation as a member of the ICAO Council allows the country to contribute to the international civil aviation industry and provides a means to voice issues of national interest, while enhancing the position of the countries globally.