The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority no longer meets international safety standards and has been downgraded following a review.
In a press statement, the FAA confirmed that Malaysia has lost its category 1 safety rating and will no longer be able to open new routes or increase existing services to the United States. Malaysian airlines will also be subjected to additional checks at US airports.
The statement from the FAA noted that the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia “is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and/or inspection procedures”. The statement does not clarify in which area Malaysia has failed the FAA criteria.
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.
At present, the only Malaysian airline route to the United States is AirAsia X Bhd services from Kuala Lumpur to Honolulu via Osaka.
The official said the US government was working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia and would help the Southeast Asian country achieve international standards that would give it the top Category 1 rating.
The new rating means Malaysian airlines are restricted to current levels of any existing service to the United States. They would also be subject to additional inspections at US airports.
Under Malaysia’s Category 2 rating, the FAA will also not allow reciprocal code-sharing arrangements between US carriers and Malaysian airlines.
The downgrade places Malaysia in the same FAA category as neighbour Thailand, which was downgraded to Category 2 in December 2015 and has since tried unsuccessfully to restore its Category 1 rating.
Other countries in Category 2 include Bangladesh, Ghana and Costa Rica.
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