Increasing Service: Malaysia Welcomes FAA Category 1 Safety Rating

increasing service: malaysia welcomes faa category 1 safety rating

Increasing Service: Malaysia Welcomes FAA Category 1 Safety Rating

On October 1st, Malaysian authorities announced that its aviation authority had been reinstated with a category one safety rating in the US. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the rating. Since losing this rating in 2019 and being demoted to a category two rating, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has taken the necessary measures to fix the underlying problems that proved hazardous to operational safety.

Returning service

The announcement that Malaysian Airlines will be able to return to the US market has been positively received by airlines across Malaysia. No airlines have announced any planned routes to the US. Simple Flying has reached out to CAAM. This article will be updated once a response has been received.

AirAsia previously flew a route to the US island state of Hawaii. Photo: Airbus

Before Malaysia lost its category one rating, only one Malaysian airline flew to the US. AirAsia previously operated a route between Kuala Lumpur and Honolulu, Hawaii. American Airlines had a codeshare agreement with Malaysian Airlines that ceased following the restriction.

The Transport Minister of Malaysia, Wee Ka Siong, stated,

“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,”This is good news after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Safety ratings

The FAA issues safety ratings to foreign Civil Aviation Authorities to prevent airlines that do not comply with the highest quality of safety from entering the US. These ratings are not given to individual airlines but to government entities because each nation certifies its aircraft operations. The coveted category one rating is required to operate flights to the US. A country’s category from the FAA comes following an International Aviation Safety Assessment Program.

Malaysian Airlines have remained clear of the US for the past four years. Photo: Getty Images

The assessment is based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. Any aviation authority that does not live up to these standards will be given a category two safety rating. Airlines operating under a category two safety rating are not inherently unsafe or even less safe than those with a category one rating. However, it does suggest that the FAA does not see the Civil Aviation Authority in question as capable of ensuring that its aircraft operations are held to the highest level of safety. Many aviation authorities that do not meet category one standards still hold aircraft operations within their airspace to a high standard.

CAAM has done an impressive job of turning its operations around, allowing it to earn a category one safety rating in only a few years. In a statement, Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) shared its support of CAAM and its work to improve aviation safety in the country. It envisions CAAM holding the industry to the highest safety standards going forward. A representative for MAG stated,

“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.”MAG is confident that CAAM under the leadership of Captain Chester Voon 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.”

What do you think of CAAM regaining its category one safety rating? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: ABC News

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