PUTRAJAYA (Dec 13): Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) will be further empowered financially and through a wider scope of powers to act in the best interest of the aviation industry after it subsumes the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).
“They will be given more power, we want to empower CAAM,” he told reporters today at the launch of the #JOMTEKSI initiative by TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, the operator of Touch’n Go eWallet.
The recent Cabinet decision to consolidate the functions under Mavcom — which regulates commercial and economic matters in the Malaysian aviation sector — and CAAM — which oversees technical issues in the sector — has sparked debate over the necessity of having an independent economic regulatory body to avoid a reversion back to the service quality back when the industry was served by Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), the predecessor of CAAM.
Loke today, however, said the Cabinet decision came after studying civil aviation authority regulatory models in various different countries.
“In any country, aviation authority lies in the civil aviation authority of that particular country, because you need a technical regulator for the aviation industry. We look at various models, the technical regulator also regulates economic activities, so they are the sole authority in terms of providing the licences.
“We looked at many other countries, there is no separate authority,” he explained.
Loke also said with the consolidation, CAAM would be able to restore Malaysia's air safety ranking by the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA), which downgraded Malaysia’s technical regulator from a Category 1 to a Category 2 rating.
“That is, of course, in the long run, it will help also, in terms of helping CAAM getting back to Category 1, because one of the issues faced by CAAM, and downgraded by FAA, was that CAAM does not have enough financial capabilities in terms of hiring people, hiring the best qualified technical personnel.
“So when we do this merger, one of it is that we want to make sure that we empower them financially, they will be given more power in terms of setting fees and in the long run, they will have financial independence, and they can hire and pay according to a better rate,” he said.