Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) regrets to announce that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States has informed CAAM that it is being listed as a Category 2 Aviation Regulator as of today. (BERNAMA)

PUTRAJAYA: The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has quashed speculation that its former chief executive officer Ahmad Nizar Zolfakar's resignation was due to the US Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) downgrade of the Malaysian aviation regulatory body to Category 2.

CAAM member of authority Ragunath Kesavan clarified that Ahmad Nizar had tendered his resignation a month before the FAA audit report was released.

“The CEO tendered his resignation before the FAA made its decision. He did it (render resignation) in October. It was before the FAA re-categorised CAAM.

“To respect his wishes, he came back to become CEO of CAAM after retiring from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and served for more than a year,” said Ragunath.

He said CAAM has just started searching for Ahmad Nizar's replacement. He said they expect the candidate to be decided upon in a few months time, with an interim CEO currently overseeing Ahmad Nizar’s duties.

To a question, Ragunath said following CAAM’s downgrade to Category Two by the FAA, it would submit a proposal to consolidate the country's civil aviation laws.

The Civil Aviation Act and the CAAM Act, he said, should be merged.

He expects the proposal to be submitted to the Transport Minister tentatively by the year-end.

Another CAAM member of authority, Afzal Abdul Rahim, said it had a substantial ‘to-do’ list with regards to legislation.

"Oh boy, do we have a list," he said without elaborating.

Following CAAM's downgrade effective Monday (Nov 11) to Category 2 by the FAA, airlines licensed by CAAM would not be able to add new routes to and from the United States.