In 1985, the Inspectorate Unit was established, under the Air Traffic Services Division, 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 in 1992; this requirement 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 involving the scope of job functions and responsibilities, the Unit was upgraded to a Division in 2002. The newly established Air Traffic Services (ATS) Inspectorate Division comprised of suitably qualified ATCOs who are selected based on their specific work experience, knowledge and attributes.
After the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) in 2005, other than safety oversight of ATS, the functions and responsibilities of the ATS Inspectorate Division were expanded to address safety oversight in the 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 is now vested with the 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 portion only), Annex 2 Rules of the Air, Annex 3 Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation, Annex 4 Aeronautical Charts, Annex 5 Units of Measurement to be used in Air and Ground Operations, Annex 10 Aeronautical Telecommunications Communications, Annex 11 ATS, Annex 12 SAR and Annex 15 AIS.
The Air Traffic Inspectorate Division 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 1996, and ANS-related ICAO Annexes to the Chicago Convention.
PROGRAMME & ACTIVITIES
The Air Traffic Inspectorate Division develops and establishes the ANS safety standards, and performs safety oversight and surveillance activities with the sole aim of regulating the ANS providers. The Regulatory Manual of ANS Inspectorate 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 Air Traffic Inspectorate Division to be applicable in Malaysia. From time to time, the Air Traffic Inspectorate Division may supplement these ANS safety standards in the form of safety publications such as Air Traffic Inspectorate Directives (ATIDs) or Aeronautical Information Circulars (AICs). Where appropriate, these safety publications will be incorporated into the Manual by amendments.
(1) Safety Oversight Audit / Inspection of ANS Providers are conducted to effectively regulate the provision of ANS. The Air Traffic Inspectorate Division schedules formal annual audits and inspections, and also, as and when required, for which no notification is given. The audits utilise protocols 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. Audits are carried out on the Air Traffic Management Sector at Headquarters, and the ATS Units and ATC training organisations for both the DCA and RMAF.
(2) ATC Examination activities include all ATC courses at ATC training organisations that are approved by the Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) and operational ATC examinations at the ATS units that control civil traffic. However, some functions are delegated to designated ATC Check Officers who are appointed on a two-year basis by the DGCA.
(3) ATC Licensing provisions are promulgated in the Civil Aviation Regulations 1996. The Air Traffic Inspectorate Division is the authority for issuance, renewal, endorsement and validation of an ATC Licence and an ATC Trainee Licence (effective 1 April 2011), in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention.
(4) Class 3 Medical Assessment
for ATCOs, as part of the pre-requisite for an ATC Licence and an ATC Trainee Licence, shall only be issued by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME). The Air Traffic Inspectorate Division maintains a comprehensive database of licensing information for all licence holders.
(5) English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment are required for ATCOs and aeronautical station operators, 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. Effective 31 March 2011, an ATC Licence or ATC Trainee Licence will not be issued or renewed unless the applicant has achieved a minimum Level 4 ELP, unless otherwise approved and authorised by the DGCA.
(6) ATC Incident Investigations are carried out for ATC safety-related occurrences to evaluate 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).