The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Project, Dr. Aaron Farrugia has just launched Malta’s first policy for the aviation industry (the “Policy”). The Policy represents the outcome of a public consultation process launched in 2021 aimed at adopting a balanced approach towards Malta’s aviation sector for the period 2023-2030 by setting a number of strategic and specific objectives.
The Policy aims at strengthening the Maltese aviation sector as a globally renowned player by developing a sustainable, competitive and resilient aviation sector based on socio-economic and environmental considerations
The Policy is meant to be integrated with other national policies such as the Malta Tourism Strategy 2021-2030, the National Transport Strategy, the Business Strategy of the Malta International Airport plc, and the National Employment Policy 2021-2030. In addition, the Policy supports the development of Malta’s aviation sector in parallel with the objectives of global and regional institutions and aviation agencies such as ICAO, EASA, Eurocontrol and IATA. The Policy addresses a number of activities, such as, passenger movements, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), air navigation services, ground handling services, aviation training, and business, private and general aviation.
Core Objectives and Pillars
The Policy’s core objectives include:
- Fostering a sustainable growth within the aviation sector based on economic, social, and environmental based parameters
- The creation of opportunities meant to create high quality employment, and
- The enhancement of Malta’s position within the global aviation sector.
The Policy is based on five (5) pillars including:
This pillar is aimed at developing and strengthening processes, resources and skills required by fast paced changing aviation industries, organisations and communities. The objectives of this pillar aim at:
- Strengthening the regulatory and non-regulatory functions of civil aviation authorities
- Improve inter-governmental coordination and effective co-ordination between public entities involved in the aviation sector, thereby enhancing the long-term success of the sector
- Ensuring long-term aviation safety and security, and
- Optimising the use of resources within the airport zone by creating a new Airport Zone Strategic Plan (AZSP) meant to address the growth in air traffic and optimise disused areas owned by the Government to the necessities of the various stakeholders such as MROs.
This pillar acknowledges the importance of the Maltese aviation sector to the Maltese economy by seeking to assess its potential to expand further its existing services and structures in a sustainable and profitable manner. This will be achieved by promoting further the aircraft leasing sector, continuing to sustain remotely piloted aircraft systems and increasing investments incorporating artificial intelligence (“AI”) and digitalisation and by taking proactive measures to assess how AI and digitalisation can be utilised to boost efficiency, reduce costs and achieve even higher customer satisfaction.
Government acknowledged the importance of synergies between the public and private sector to ensure a sustainable and organic growth of the local aviation industry. Such synergies will be achieved through measures which reflect objectives of both the private and public stakeholders. Government support will be provided by improving connectivity to and from Malta, enhancing passengers rights’ protection and foreign direct investment by implementing requisite changes, including the introduction of new technologies and efficiency processes within Malta’s aircraft register.
Legal and Regulatory
Although the Maltese regulatory framework is compliant with international and EU legislation, the Maltese government understands the importance of constantly revising its legal framework to mirror the ever-changing objectives of the sector in order to promote growth and investment.
The Maltese government reaffirmed its commitment towards international obligations Malta has signed up to, upcoming EU legislation as part of the Fit-for-55 package, as well as Malta’s own environmental and sustainability goals, particularly within the context of the Paris Climate Agreement, the EU Green Deal and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Malta will introduce sustainable objectives by ensuring:
- The provision of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Malta and introducing a blended mandate for its use
- Making airport operations more environmentally sustainable and prioritising flight efficiency by aircraft operators and air navigation service providers.
The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, will outline a set of action points meant to be published by not later than 31st December 2023 together while a first progress report to be submitted to Government also by not later than 31st December 2024. The Policy will be subject to a number of periodic reviews to ensure its continued relevance and compatibility with market and industry needs.
Access the full text of the policy.
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