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FAA lifts a ban on Malaysia’s CAA regarding air safety

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Malaysia’s air safety ratings have been improved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and issues that prevented Malaysian airlines from opening up new routes to the United States have been resolved.

According to a statement made by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) on October 1, 2022, the FAA has upgraded the Malaysian regulator’s air safety ratings from Category 2 to Category 1 once more. The action recognizes Malaysia’s current ranking as having the highest worldwide air safety ratings.

Local air carriers are now free to extend their service to new locations around the US thanks to a recent FAA decision.

“We are very pleased to share that the FAA has officially announced that Malaysia has regained its Category 1 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating. For this achievement, I applaud everyone at CAAM for their tireless effort and commitment to this success,” Malaysia’s transport minister Wee Ka Siong told BeritaKini.

“With the return to Category 1, our airlines can now mount new flights to the U.S. and have code sharing with American carriers. There is no more barrier now,” Wee ka Siong added.

Following an in-country reevaluation of Malaysia under the IASA program in April 2019, the FAA reduced CAAM safety ratings for that country to Category 2 in November 2019.

In July 2019, the FAA delivered its findings to Malaysian officials after starting an audit of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) in April 2019. In the most recent events, Malaysia’s IASA rating was reduced to Category 2, which limits the ability of airlines registered there to fly to the US.

At the time, the US regulator claimed that CAAM fell short of meeting ICAO requirements due to deficiencies in a number of areas, including technical knowledge, trained employees, record-keeping, and inspection procedures.

The FAA prohibited Malaysia-based carriers operating under Category 2 from introducing new routes and establishing any kind of reciprocal code-sharing agreements with US airlines.

Malaysian Airlines Boeing 737’s nosedive was caused by a malfunctioning pitot-static system.
A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 737 abruptly dived mid-flight due to a pitot-static system malfunction, according to the CAAM.

However, CAAM has been focusing on enhancing air safety for some time. The State Safety Program (SSP) for Malaysia was most recently introduced on September 13, 2022, by Malaysia’s regulator and the Ministry of Transport Malaysia (MOT), with the goal of enhancing safety standards.

The SSP goal is to achieve “an acceptable level of safety of aviation services and products delivered by aviation service providers,” including airlines, air navigation service providers, airport operators, as well as training and maintenance organizations, according to CAAM Chief Executive Officer Chester Voo Chee Soon.

“Within 15 years, CAAM and MOT will put in place an increasingly effective, robust, and eventually more sophisticated safety oversight system to achieve zero fatalities in scheduled commercial operations,” the CAAM statement reads. “The safety priorities support this aspirational goal which identifies safety-related challenges and the prioritization of areas that require action to enhance safety in Malaysia.”

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