FAA Downgrades Malaysian Aviation Regulator

November 11, 2019

The US FAA has downgraded Malaysia’s civil aviation regulator for failing to meet ICAO safety standards.

An international safety assessment found the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) is “deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and/or inspection procedures.”

The Federal Aviation Administration stressed that the assessment was of CAAM itself, not any of the country’s airlines.

The drop from Category 1 to Category 2 means flights already operated by Malaysian carriers can continue, but they will not be able to add any new service to the US.

Currently the only Malaysian flight operating to the US is an AirAsia X service from Kuala Lumpur to Honolulu via Osaka.

In a statement, CAAM acknowledged some shortcomings in carrying out its duties, but emphasized that the assessment only covered CAAM's role as an aviation regulator, not of airlines, airports or air traffic services in the country.

“CAAM has requested the FAA to conduct a re-assessment within the next 12 months with the intention of having its Category 1 status restored. It should be noted that plans are already well underway to address the findings of the audit.”

The regulator said that given the critical nature of aviation, it takes the FAA's assessment constructively and has moved to make serious changes in its structure and operations.