FAA upgrades Malaysia's air safety rating

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An AirAsia jet. The airline is Malaysia-based.
An AirAsia jet. The airline is Malaysia-based.

The FAA has upped the safety rating of Malaysia's civil aviation authority to Category 1 status.

The change means that Malaysia-based airlines can apply for new routes to the U.S. and can enter into codeshare agreements on U.S. routes. 

The change comes three years after the FAA downgraded the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to a Category 2 rating in November 2019. 

Generally, a Category 2 rating means that a country lacks laws or regulations that oversee airlines or its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.

Category 1 ratings are awarded by the FAA to civil aviation authorities that meet safety standards set by the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization. 

The FAA said it returned Malaysia to Category 1 status following a review of its progress in improving its safety-oversight processes. 

Currently, no Malaysian airline flies to the U.S and no carrier offers U.S.-Malaysia service.

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