Kuala Lumpur has established a task force of both local and international personnel to help it obtain Federal Aviation Administration Category 1 status.
The team was organized by the Ministry of Transport and comprises four pilots, three engineers, and a technical coordinator, according to a Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) statement.
It will be led by Kok Soo Chon, an industry veteran who led Malaysia’s investigation into MH370, the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 2014.
Kok will coordinate the task force, lead its work plan, and ensure that its findings are implemented.
“This task force of experts is set to finalize all rectifying works under the 33 FAA IASA [International Aviation Safety Assessment] assessment findings which were categorized as “open status” and other issues related,” says CAAM.
“Thereafter, the FAA will be invited to conduct a re-assessment of the IASA program with the objective of re-categorizing CAAM from Category 2 to Category 1.”
Earlier this month, the FAA downgraded CAAM to Category 2, following an audit in April. The country had held a Category 1 rating since 2003.
The lowered rating means that CAAM does not meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) safety standards, the FAA said.
“[The CAAM] is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and/or inspection procedures”, added the FAA. Consequently, Malaysia’s carriers will not be able to start new services into the United States.
On 19 November, American Airlines unilaterally cancelled its codeshare on services operated by Malaysia Airlines, shortly after the FAA downgrade.
The Malaysian carrier confirmed the cancellation, while stressing that it is still placing its code on American-operated services. Both airlines are members of the Oneworld alliance.