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638) EMEL PILIHAN-AirAsia granted 6 months to operate flights
04 Jan 2013

Posted on 23
November 2012 – 05:36am
Nambiar sunbiz@thesundaily.com
JAYA (Nov 23, 2012): AirAsia Bhd has been granted with an air operator’s
certificate (AOC) by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to fly for another
five months — instead of a two-year period — for not meeting regulatory
standards, said sources.
The current
AOC is valid until April 2013.
Sources told
SunBiz that AirAsia had only obtained a six-month AOC — an approval granted
from the DCA to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial
purposes — after periodical audit findings by DCA showed shortcomings in
AirAsia’s flight operations procedures and practices including flawed communications
between flight operations and pilots, an outdated manual and flight operations
not in keeping with the manual.
six-month period allows for AirAsia to work with the DCA to bring its flight
operations procedures and practices up to mark.
It is also
understood that AirAsia’s head for flight operations has been changed due to
the action.
Three key
posts in an airline are nominated with the approval of the DCA, namely the head
for flight operations, engineering maintenance system and crew training.
“The fact
that they have not grounded AirAsia aircraft shows that it’s not a serious
safety issue, but this action still serves as a warning,” one source told
commercial airlines based in Malaysia are awarded two-year renewals of AOC by
In other
markets, depending on the track record of the airline, AOCs can be valid for up
to five years before a renewal is due.
While the
audit is a biennial affair, the DCA conducts inspections on airlines at least
once a year.
According to
another source, a two-year renewal is given if airlines meet standards set by
the regulator. Otherwise they are given a period of time, depending on the
issue, to comply before a renewal of AOC is given, or it is revoked entirely.
In the event
of a withdrawal of an AOC, the airline can work to meet standards set and
re-apply for an AOC which will have to be approved by the Cabinet.
AirAsia and
DCA officials did not respond to questions sent via e-mail, as at press time.
An industry
observer said it is unlikely that AirAsia will let the situation progress to an
outright withdrawal of AirAsia’s AOC, ultimately grounding its flights.
(AirAsia) will definitely address whatever issues DCA have and make sure they
bring in the right people and fire the wrong people, because too much is at
He added
that while the action taken by DCA is unlikely to have any financial impact on
AirAsia as a company, it may impact its reputation as an airline and its
ability to secure the best deals for financing in the future.
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