Chronology:Department of Civil Aviation

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Department of Civil Aviation logo

  • 1969:
    • The Department of Civil Aviation was formed, pursuant to the passing of the Civil Aviation Act 1969.
    • September 21: The Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC) was established with 2 branches:
      1. School of Air Traffic Services; and
      2. School of Aerodrome Fire and Rescue Services.
(Prior to its establishment, training was carried out on-the-job and appointment was based on competency. In the 1960s, a few controllers were also sent abroad.)
  • 1970, April 25: The first batch of trainees graduated from the School of Air Traffic Services of the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC).
  • 1972: The Airworthiness Unit was established under the Flight Operations Division to regulate aircraft maintenance activities. Management of the unit was contracted to the Civil Aviation Authority, United Kingdom (CAAUK).
  • 1974: The first radar simulator was installed at the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC).
  • 1978: The Aviation Security Unit was formed as part of the Airport Standard Division, after the hijacking of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH653 which crashed into Tanjung Kupang, a small village in Gelang Patah, Johor, in 1978.
  • 1981, January 1: Due to space constraints, the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC) was shifted to a hillock across the road from the terminal building of Subang International Airport and renamed 'Civil Aviation College' (CAC).
  • 1985: The Air Traffic Inspectorate Unit was established under the Air Traffic Services Division, 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 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). However, due to various constraints, only air traffic control (ATC) examinations were conducted by the Unit at that time. This requirement is applicable to all ATCOs in the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), including the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).
  • 1991: The Parliament of Malaysia passed a bill to separate the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) into 2 entities, with different spheres of responsibilities. DCA remains as the regulatory body for the airports and aviation industry in Malaysia, while Malaysia Airports, the newly created entity, was established in 1992 to focus on the operations, management, and maintenance of airports.[1]
  • 1992:
    • The Airworthiness Unit was upgraded to a Division.
    • The licensing of air traffic controllers (ATCOs) began.
    • October: The Civil Aviation College (CAC) was down-sized, when airport operations were privatized. The School of Aerodrome Fire and Rescue Services(AFRS) School moved to Penang to join the Security Training Centre and became a part of the airport operator, Malaysia Airports Berhad's training center.
  • 1999: The Airworthiness Division was fully manned by Malaysians, 27 years after its formation. The contract with the Civil Aviation Authority, United Kingdom (CAAUK) was then changed to a consultancy service.
  • 2002: Both the Air Traffic Inspectorate Unit and the Aviation Security Unit were upgraded to Divisions.
  • 2005: After the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) was carried out, the functions and responsibilities of the Air Traffic Inspectorate Division were expanded from safety oversight of air traffic services (ATS) to include safety oversight in the areas of air navigation services (ANS):
  • 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).
  • 2007: The Airworthiness Division was upgraded to become a Sector in its own right.
  • 2009: The Civil Aviation College (CAC) was moved from Subang to Sepang, where the [[Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is located.

  • 2014, March 8: The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, enroute to Beijing, sent the Malaysian government and the Department of Civil Aviation into a tailspin. (Ambiguous, inaccurate, and at times, directly contradictory information resulted in Malaysia being rapped by top newspapers and leading news agencies across the world. On 12 March, Mike Smith, an Australian crisis management expert, said: "I think in the last day or two, we've seen some of the worst aspects of bad crisis management occurring, and the people who suffer most are the families who are in this horrendous position." [2]