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Mohd Suhaimi Fariz

FAA Downgrades Malaysia's Air Safety Rating to Category 2.

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Seeing how operationally screwed up all our airlines are flying to maintain cost efficiency its pretty much to be expected.

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Cut cost, cut corners, one person do 4 persons job. Low cost everywhere, even full service also low cost style.

Very high competition plus the citizen are not willing to pay for a normal rm400-600 1-2 hour return flight. This downgrade thing, is just waiting to happen. Well its at our doorstep now. No surprises. 

By the way, i don't think its Caam. They have improved a lot and are doing a fairly good job. Its the airlines, citizen and government.

Edited by Silverfly07

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40 minutes ago, Silverfly07 said:

By the way, i don't think its Caam. They have improved a lot and are doing a fairly good job.

"The FAA's safety rating is based on a country's aviation oversight regime and is an assessment of the country's civil aviation authority."

Basically, that statement is saying that the CAAM has failed to meet the FAA's safety standards.

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The Airlines or Operators safety policy is to conform to international standards (ICAO) when it comes to standard practices. Its CAAM responsibility to make sure local operators adhere to it which in FAAs opinion failed to do so. So yes, as what flee highlighted, CAAM is accountable and its going to be interesting to see what their official statement on this is going to be like. 

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CAAM LISTED AS CATEGORY 2 AVIATION REGULATOR BY THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA)

PUTRAJAYA ‚Äď Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) regrets to announce that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States has informed CAAM that it is being listed as a Category 2 Aviation Regulator as of today.

This is as a result of an FAA Review of CAAM that was carried out in April 2019. The FAA carries out such audits of regulators who oversee the operation of flights into the United States. The audit covered areas of legislation, oversight, delegation of authority as well as adequacy of the number of technical personnel employed by CAAM.

Whilst CAAM acknowledges that in carrying out its duties as an aviation regulator, some shortcomings exist. We wish to emphasize that the assessment only covered CAAM's role as an aviation regulator.

This categorization is NOT an assessment of Airlines, Airports or Air Traffic Services that fall under the purview of CAAM. However, due to being listed as a Category 2 Regulator, airlines licensed by CAAM will not be able to add new routes to and from the United States.

The assessment and subsequent categorization by the FAA is solus and unilateral in nature, and within their rights as an ICAO member state.

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.

CAAM continues to contribute to the development and oversight of aviation via its seat on the ICAO Council. It also remains fully in compliance with all ICAO standards and legislation, having being audited by ICAO as recently as middle of 2019.

Given the critical nature of aviation, CAAM takes the FAA's assessment constructively and has moved to make serious changes in its structure and operations.

The Chief Executive Officer of CAAM has tendered his resignation on the 1st of November 2019 and in the interim, an Executive Committee of the Board has been established to oversee the operations of CAAM.

The Ministry of Transport has been informed of these internal developments.


CAPTAIN AHMAD RIDZWAN MOHD SALLEH
CHAIRMAN
CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY MALAYSIA

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....and the s#1t hits the fan.

Captain Ahmad Ridzwan Mohd Salleh was previously with AirAsia as Regional Head, Flight Safety before joining CAAM. 

The downgrade will definitely give MoT a sure bullet to revamp both MavComm and CAAM. 

Don't think Singapore will hand over the Southern airspace corridor back to Malaysia anytime soon. 

 

 

Edited by JuliusWong

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Official Press Release from the FAA:

Quote

A Category 2 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating means that CAAM ‚Äď a body equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters ‚Äď is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and/or inspection procedures.

In 2003, Malaysia was assigned a Category 1 rating, meaning CAAM complied with ICAO standards for aviation safety oversight. The FAA conducted an in-country reassessment of Malaysia under the IASA program in April 2019, and met with the CAAM in July 2019 to discuss the results.

Seems like the first ever downgrade for Malaysia? How often do they audit other countries (I don't believe they didn't audit between 2003 and 2019)? 

 

5 hours ago, flee said:

Basically, that statement is saying that the CAAM has failed to meet the FAA's safety standards.

Not FAA standards. FAA audit finds that CAAM failed to meet ICAO standards.

2 hours ago, JuliusWong said:

This is happening on the back on flight a day after flight MH360 turn around after landing gear incident. Doesn't look good for all parties. 

This has nothing to do with the downgrade and a RTB is actually more common than you think.

1 hour ago, KK Lee said:

"The CAAM chief executive officer has tendered his resignation on the Nov 1 and in the interim, an executive committee of the board has been established to oversee the operations of CAAM.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/499462

 

Well that's rare. A CEO in Malaysia resigning due to failures.

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8 hours ago, JuliusWong said:

This is happening on the back on flight a day after flight MH360 turn around after landing gear incident. Doesn't look good for all parties. 

Totally not connected. If its purely on safety then FAA should be questioned regarding its Boeing scandal. 

Finally CAAM can get a taste their own medicine with how they treat operators especially during audits. 

Perhaps also the result of curses from aviation professionals (engineers, flight crew, dispatchers and etc) on exorbitantly high licensing fees. I was told pilots have to pay close to rm1500 a year to renew their licenses on the back of a very inefficient agency which operates as if its still the year 1957. 

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2 hours ago, Pall said:

Totally not connected. If its purely on safety then FAA should be questioned regarding its Boeing scandal. 

Finally CAAM can get a taste their own medicine with how they treat operators especially during audits. 

Perhaps also the result of curses from aviation professionals (engineers, flight crew, dispatchers and etc) on exorbitantly high licensing fees. I was told pilots have to pay close to rm1500 a year to renew their licenses on the back of a very inefficient agency which operates as if its still the year 1957. 

Well both you and Craig are correct the recent MH360 flight run back is totally unrelated with Malaysia being downgraded to Cat II, however the general public do not think otherwise. The whole aviation ecosystem in Malaysia needs a reboot to make it more competitive and market driven. 

On the issue of charging exhobitant fee on aviation professionals, yes, they increased the fee overnight, like 300%. No advance notice was given, my pilot friends had shock of their life when renewal was due. Reason given was "the current rate has not been revised for decades, hence we are hiking it now. Take it or leave it!"

Let's not forget their 1000% hike in  airline operator fees back in 2016, caused a firestorm.

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The fee hikes should commensurate with equal level of services provided which is sadly not the case. Well what is new in this country anyway.

Hope this downgrade give a positive wake up call to all stakeholders to fix what FAA feels is not up to par. 

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Interesting how we have a standard or quality measure based on an American benchmark which does not even meet their own standards. This is the way the world works I guess, living to the American benchmark¬†ūüėĄ This is just my personal opinion, no offence meant.¬†

 

On the new downgrade, it also states no code share agreements; so I wonder what happens to the code shares between MH and AA? Are they affected by this downgrade? 

Quote

FAA, the news agency wrote, will also not allow reciprocal code-sharing arrangements between US carriers and Malaysian carriers, when a country is rated Category 2.

https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/ceo-quits-caam-says-us-downgrade-malaysia-air-safety-ratings-was-due-its-shortcomings

 

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I also wonder if it only impacts code share with American operators. If not then i guess no problems with MH then to code share with other foreign operators that fly into US. American Airlines will be the one impacted from getting MH pax feed. MH can depend on other operators to feed their pax into US. Just that feeding pax into secondary US cities will be a problem. 

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2 hours ago, kandiah k said:

Interesting how we have a standard or quality measure based on an American benchmark which does not even meet their own standards. This is the way the world works I guess, living to the American benchmark¬†ūüėĄ This is just my personal opinion, no offence meant.¬†

 

On the new downgrade, it also states no code share agreements; so I wonder what happens to the code shares between MH and AA? Are they affected by this downgrade? 

 

No new codeshares. Existing codeshares will remain. As for standards, the FAA uses ICAO standards actually.

To say that this is a slap in the face would be an understatement. If this had happened in 2014, then it would have been understandable, even if it's not forgivable. 

What happened in the intervening years that led to this? 

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2 hours ago, kandiah k said:

Interesting how we have a standard or quality measure based on an American benchmark which does not even meet their own standards. This is the way the world works I guess, living to the American benchmark¬†ūüėĄ This is just my personal opinion, no offence meant.¬†

On the new downgrade, it also states no code share agreements; so I wonder what happens to the code shares between MH and AA? Are they affected by this downgrade? 

There are a few CAAs around the world that audits other countries' CAA to make sure that they meet the minimum standards to fly into their country/airspace. CAAC and EC/EASA comes to mind (these two however forbid individual carriers instead of a blanket ban on a country). I am not sure if CAAM/CAAS etc. audit other countries but those big CAAs usually set a benchmark,

2 hours ago, Pall said:

I also wonder if it only impacts code share with American operators. If not then i guess no problems with MH then to code share with other foreign operators that fly into US. American Airlines will be the one impacted from getting MH pax feed. MH can depend on other operators to feed their pax into US. Just that feeding pax into secondary US cities will be a problem. 

MH/AA code-share will remain but it can't be expanded until Malaysia is upgraded back to Category 1. That means MH can't initiate new code-share agreement with BA for TATL operations if they wanted to now.

Edited by Craig

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56 minutes ago, Azfar said:

So AirAsia X would be stuck with its current frequency into HNL for the foreseeable future then. No downgrade/upgrade etc. 

I think downgrade yes (they will be more than happy to have you leaving their country). Upgrade no, new equipment no. AirAsia X needs to stick to current schedule to maintain their access. They are subjected to random checks by US athorities too.

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Well apparently it's a HR issue according to Maybank IB Research. From Malaysiakini:

Quote

"Civil aviation roles are administered by the government via the Public Service Department. Very often, the PSD allocates new staff based on their availability, rather than suitability. "Many times CAAM has been provided fresh university graduates with non-technical backgrounds by the PSD as their new staff. This is not ideal.

"The profession is highly technical in nature and requires deep understanding of international law, physics, mathematics and other sciences," the firm said in a research note today. CAAM also suffers from poor staff retention because they are underpaid. Maybank IB Research said the staff often take eight to 12 years of training before they are deemed qualified. 

However, as there are better prospects abroad, CAAM staff are often poached once they are deemed qualified.

This is concerning to say the least. This problem won't be resolved in a year or two if it's true.

 

Edited by Craig

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A lot of what the CAAM used to do is now the responsibility of Mavcom. Mavcom has lots of budget for their activities due to the tax imposed on passengers.

However, the CAAM's financial position should also be improved as they have fewer responsibilities. So they can have better qualified and well paid staff as there is less workload now. The issue of the PSD not allocating staff based on qualifications and experience needs to be tackled, though. 

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1 hour ago, Craig said:

This is concerning to say the least. This problem won't be resolved in a year or two if it's true.

The problem with this is that the technically minded won't want to join the government because of less than lucrative pay. Why would they, when they can join the private sector & earn so much more.

On another note, maybe this strengthens the case for MAVCOM's existence, given how the FAA IASA program focuses only on the safety aspect of things.

screenshot.224.jpg

Edited by Mohd Suhaimi Fariz

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