In 1985, the Inspectorate Unit was established, under the Air Traffic Services (ATS) Division, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) with the objective to ensure that air traffic controllers (ATCOs) possess the knowledge, experience, competence, skill, physical and mental fitness in accordance with the provisions of ICAO Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention – Personnel Licensing. However, only the function of air traffic control (ATC) examinations was conducted by the Unit due to various constraints at that time. Subsequently, the licensing of ATCOs commenced on the 01.11.1990; this requirement (Malaysia Civil Aviation Regulations 1996, regulation 92) is applicable to all ATCOs in DCA, including the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), in particular for ATCOs who control civil traffic.
In view of the Unit’s increased activities related to additional scope of job functions and responsibilities in ATS, the Unit was upgraded to a Division in 2002. The newly established ATS Inspectorate Division comprised of suitably qualified ATCOs who were selected based on their specific work experience, knowledge and attributes.
Following the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) in 2005, other than the safety oversight of ATS, the functions and responsibilities of the ATS Inspectorate Division were expanded to include safety oversight in the other areas of air navigation services (ANS), namely Procedures for ANS-Aircraft Operations (PANS-OPS), Aeronautical Information Services (AIS), Aeronautical Charts (CHART), Communication Navigation and Surveillance (CNS), Aeronautical Meteorology (MET) and Search and Rescue (SAR). The renamed Air Traffic Inspectorate Division was vested with regulatory responsibility to ensure that the ANS providers implement ANS-related provisions in accordance with the national legislations and all ANS-related ICAO Annexes, namely Annex 1 Personnel Licensing (ATC licensing and ATC-ATO portions only), Annex 2 Rules of the Air, Annex 3 Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation, Annex 4 Aeronautical Charts, Annex 10 Aeronautical Telecommunications, Annex 11 Air Traffic Services, Annex 12 Search & Rescue, Annex 15 AIS, and including Annex 5 Units of Measurement to be used in Air and Ground Operations.
In April 2015, the regulatory functions of the Inspectorate were further re-aligned to focus on the safety oversight of the ANS providers for ATS, PANS-OPS, AIS, CHART, MET and SAR excluding CNS (which is now vested with the Airport Standards Division). Consequently, the applicable ICAO Annexes that relate to the Inspectorate’s safety oversight functions are Annex 1 Personnel Licensing (ATC licensing portion only), Annex 2 Rules of the Air, Annex 3 Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation, Annex 4 Aeronautical Charts (Instrument Chart portion only),
Annex 11 Air Traffic Services, Annex 12 Search & Rescue, Annex 15 AIS and Annex 19 Safety Management (ATS portion only).
(Note : all references below to ANS shall exclude CNS).
On 19 February 2018, DCA has been transformed as the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), a Federal Government Statutory Body.
New Posts Approval Letter No. K 7/2019 was approved on the 01 March 2019, the Air Traffic Inspectorate Division has been renamed as Air Navigation Services Standards Division (AND).
The AND is the regulatory body that oversees the provision of ANS by the ANS providers to ensure compliance with the national legislations, namely the Civil Aviation Act 1969 and the Civil Aviation Regulations 2016, together with its related ICAO Annexes to the Chicago Convention and ICAO Docs.
The AND develops and establishes the ANS standards, and performs safety oversight and surveillance activities with the sole aim of regulating the ANS providers. The Air Traffic Inspectorate Directives (ATIDs), Director General Directives and Air Navigation Services Standards Directives (ANSSD) contains the requirements and procedures pertaining to the provision of the ANS, based mainly on the standards and recommendation (SARPs) of ICAO Annexes to the Chicago Convention, other ICAO documents and best practices, as may be determined by the AND, to be applicable in Malaysia.
(1) Safety Oversight Audit / Inspection of ANS Providers are conducted to effectively regulate the provision of ANS. The AND schedules formal annual audits and inspections, and also, random inspections (as and when required) for which no prior notification is given to ANS providers. The audits/inspections utilise protocol questions and compliance checklists to evaluate the level of adherence to stipulated national legislations, and ANS-related ICAO Annexes to the Chicago Convention and ICAO documents, including best practices. The AND also conducts oversight of the ATS provider’s safety management system (SMS) to ensure its formal and systematic implementation by all ATSUs, including compliance with stipulated requirements. Currently, the ANS providers that are regulated by the AND include the Air Traffic Management Sector of CAAM, Malaysian Meteorological Department, RMAF and the Malaysian Army.
(2) Personnel Licensing for ATCOs provisions are promulgated in the Civil Aviation Regulations 2016. The AND is the authority for issuance, renewal, endorsement and validation of an ATC Licence in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention.
- ATC Examination activities include all ATC courses at ATC approved training organisations (ATC-ATOs) that are approved by the CEO and operational ATC examinations at the ATS units that control civil traffic. However, some functions are delegated to designated ATC Examiners who are appointed on a two-year basis by the CEO.
- English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment is required for ATCOs, and they must meet the minimum required proficiency level for radiotelephony communications i.e. Level 4 in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention. Implemented on 31 March 2011, an ATC Licence will not be issued or renewed unless the applicant has achieved a minimum ELP Level 4.
- Class 3 Medical Assessment for ATCOs, as part of the pre-requisite for an ATC Licence, shall only be issued by a Designated Medical Examiner (ME). The AND maintains a comprehensive database on all licensing information for all licence holders.
(3) Certification & audit of ATC-ATO for an organisation that is responsible for the training of ATCOs. Such an organisation is required to demonstrate its capability to provide ATC training by holding an ATC-ATO approval certificate that is issued by the CEO. The AND conducts a regular oversight programme, including random inspections on the approved ATC-ATO to ensure continuing compliance with the approval requirements.
(4) ATC Incident Investigations are carried out for ATC safety-related occurrences to evaluate and review the effectiveness of the ATC system and its components, as well as recommending mitigation actions towards safety enhancements. The investigative process includes the Incident Review Panel (IRP), the Board of Inquiry (BOI) and the Safety Review Board (SRB).