Although Malta is principally known as a maritime nation, big steps have been made in the last years to establish the island as a centre of aviation excellence. This is a sector which requires careful nurturing but which also has enormous potential if its benefits are to be fully utilised by the country’s business sector.
The number of aircraft on the Maltese aviation register has reached 104 in 2011, an increase of 18 aircraft over the previous year according to Transport Malta. So far figures for 2012 are not available yet however the Authority said it had noted notable interest from operators to relocate their business to Malta and it is currently processing more than 30 requests from international business aviation operators.
Throughout the past year, the Authority continued its effort to restructure the Civil Aviation directorate in order to reinforce its capability to target this market. It has invested in personnel with the necessary expertise to ensure the highest level of safety standards and service required by the industry. These efforts have been recognised by leading international operators who are increasingly considering Malta as their place for business, TM said.
To date there are 19 business jets on the Maltese aircraft register. The remainder of the aircraft are a mixture of airliners, and turboprop aircraft the majority belonging to the national carrier Air Malta and Medavia, an air taxi operator with a fleet of Casa 212’s, Dash 8’s, Dornier 328 and B1900’s. Although the recent launch of the Aircraft Registration Act which amongst other things ratified the Cape Town convention was a relatively late development, the Maltese Aircraft register has been around for some time. Even before the current legislation has been enacted, we have seen a number of business aviation aircraft operators obtaining a Maltese AOC.
Infrastructural developments undertaken by government to boost the aviation sector include the SafiAviationPark, a €17 million aviation hub spanning over 200,000 square metres which is able to host a number of business aircraft operators and MRO’s.