Thursday 28 Sep 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 1): Malaysia's success in getting its air-safety ranking reinstated to Category 1 by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is "truly commendable" considering that this took place while the national aviation industry is still dealing with the after-effects of Covid-19, said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

The Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) had put in massive efforts to ensure that the International Aviation Safety Assessment Category 1 rating was reinstated, said MAHB managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood.

"The reinstatement will enhance global confidence in the quality of our air navigation services. From the airport’s perspective, this will help in our marketing efforts to attract more airlines to operate in Malaysia, thus increasing the country’s network connectivity and hub potential,” he added in a statement.

Iskandar said the airport operator will continue to provide critical support for the enhancement of air navigation services, and cited the ongoing Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) integrated system initiative as an example.

"The A-CDM integrated system will integrate the operations of the airport, air traffic control, airlines, and ground handlers on a unified platform in order to improve air traffic operations through enhanced predictability of events and optimal utilisation of resources," he said.

Separately, AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd said the reinstatement of Malaysia’s air-safety ranking to Category 1 is set to open more opportunities for its future medium- to long-haul network plans, especially to the US, and also Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, as they will grant the relevant regulatory approvals based on the FAA's standards.

AirAsia X is currently the only airline in the group that operates to the US directly to Honolulu, Hawaii, through Osaka, Japan.

The group said regaining the category also bodes well for its maintenance, repair and overhaul subsidiary, Asia Digital Engineering, as it will boost its service for regional and potentially other international airlines.

“After an industry reset following the pandemic, this announcement could not have come at a better time as travel demand picks up. The Category 1 safety rating will not only allow us to expand our future network plans but also stabilise the country’s aviation industry as a whole, " said AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd group chief executive officer Bo Lingam.

“A massive congratulations to the CAAM for meeting the International Civil Aviation Organization's safety standards again and to the Ministry of Transport for their continued effort to improve the FAA's rating of Malaysia’s aviation status," he said.

Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) also congratulated the CAAM on the reinstatement of the country's air-safety ranking to Category 1 by the FAA.

"MAG is pleased to be able to support the CAAM by being part of a task force that was formed to identify the root causes, corrective action plans, and corrective measures in response to the downgrade in 2019.

"MAG is confident that the CAAM, under the leadership of [chief executive officer Datuk] Captain Chester Voon [Chee Soon] 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," the group said in a statement.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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