Mavcom can operate for 6 months more, says Loke

Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook Loke says consolidating Mavcom with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia will increase efficiency and reduce red tape.

SEPANG: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) can still operate independently for at least another six months before its consolidation with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said it would take a few months for the government to repeal and amend some laws, discuss about the structure and how to transfer Mavcom’s role to CAAM, Bernama reported.

“Mavcom will still operate as usual until we repeal the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 in Parliament.”

“Over the next few months, the staff will be going to office. We will pay them their salary as usual,” he said, adding that the welfare of Mavcom’s 59 staff would be well taken care of.

Speaking to the media after the launch of the GTR Air Cargo Hub here today, Loke said the consolidation exercise would make Malaysia’s regulatory body more efficient and reduce red tape.

“Right now, we have two regulators.

“If any airlines, air cargo companies or ground-handling companies want to get a licence to operate, they need to get approval from CAAM and then they have to go to Mavcom for another approval.

“So we think that this is another layer of bureaucracy that we want to cut down and we want to transform and empower CAAM,” he said.

Asked to comment on a statement by Mavcom executive chairman Nungsari Ahmad Radhi, who expressed his disappointment over the government’s decision on the consolidation, Loke said he was surprised by Nungsari’s reaction.

“That is a decision by the Cabinet and I was surprised that he was upset.

“After getting the approval from the Cabinet yesterday, I directed my secretary-general to inform Mavcom and to form a small committee or a task force to look into various issues in terms of the merger, such as welfare and job positions. That will take at least a few months’ of discussions.

“So it’s not as if we are not in discussions with Mavcom,” he said.

Mavcom is an independent body set up on March 1, 2016, under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015, to regulate economic and commercial matters related to civil aviation.

The commission’s goal is to promote a commercially viable, consumer-oriented and resilient aviation industry which supports the nation’s economic growth.

In a statement earlier, the transport ministry said the consolidation will spur the aviation industry to become more competitive.

The ministry added that it would restructure CAAM and will hold discussions with the finance ministry, the Public Service Department and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to address issues related to the reorganisation.

In October, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government was looking into recent complaints about Mavcom and would make the necessary changes.