I REFER to the recent downgrading of Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia’s (CAAM) safety rating by the United States’ Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the ensuing letters to The Star on the subject.
Civil Aviation is a highly regulated industry. The regulations are mandated by a central body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and disseminated to member states.
The onus is on the nations’ civil aviation authorities to enforce and ensure compliance of the requirements and procedures by the nations’ airlines. The primary concern and focus of the authority is flight safety.
The national airline, Malaysia Airlines, has been flying international routes since the mid 1970s. By the mid 1990s, it covered all the six continents, including two destinations in the United States, at Los Angeles and Newark. All throughout these years, there was not a single accident involving the airline’s aircraft at any of these destinations.
Except for the MH370 and MH17 incidents four years ago, the airlines’ safety record in the international arena, was unblemished. The two incidents had nothing to do with the airline’s or nation’s civil aviation authority’s shortcomings in safety standards.
It can henceforth be said that the airline’s safety standards, having passed the international safety audits, meet the required standards.
In fact, it can be considered to be very good – with many of the airline’s pilots now being accepted to fly for major international airlines throughout the world.
Regardless of that, the FAA exercised its prerogative to audit our operations. And on its first exercise in 1996, the agency duly awarded us the highest safety rating of Category One.
The reasons why FAA recently downgraded CAAM’s safety
rating to Category Two have not been made known to the public. They are however now being addressed by the task force set up by the Transport Ministry and announced by the minister a few days ago.
In view of that, let’s not speculate. Just leave it to the task force to do its job.
I am sure they would be able to rectify whatever shortcomings sighted by the FAA.
In the meantime, we can all rest assured that the safety standards of our nation’s airlines are not compromised.
Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam
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