FAA Downgrades Malaysia’s Aviation Authority


The FAA has downgraded the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to a Category 2 rating, saying it “does not meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards.” Malaysian airlines can continue to operate existing service in the U.S. but cannot add new flights, including those code-sharing with U.S. airlines. 

According to the FAA, “A Category 2 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating means that CAAM—a body equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters—is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and/or inspection procedures.” Malaysia achieved a Category 1 rating, “meaning CAAM complied with ICAO standards for aviation safety oversight,” in 2003. The downgrade to Category 2 follows in-country assessments in April 2019.

The FAA noted that the assessment does not reflect the status or safety of individual airlines, but is a reflection of the country’s aviation authority. “As part of the IASA program, the FAA assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code-sharing arrangements with U.S. partner airlines, and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations,” says the FAA. “In order to maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.”

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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