Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and former European Commissioner Karmenu Vella greeted the Aviation Advisory Committee for the first time during a meeting discussing prospective plans for the aviation sector.
The Aviation Advisory Committee aims to advise and support the minister responsible for aviation in ensuring that the aviation industry in Malta continues to grow quantitively and improve qualitatively in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner.
Minister Ian Borg said “despite the negative impact that the pandemic has had on the aviation industry, now, that it seems that a ray of light has sprung to overcome this pandemic, the aviation sector will once again be an essential part of our strategy towards economic recovery.
“Today we have a committee made up of experts in the field of aviation whose work will surely lead to prolific assistance provided to the government to further develop and lead this sector towards more growth and sustainability, not only by addressing its current needs but by also pinpointing prospects which together will lead to various opportunities by this economic pillar; the aviation sector.”
This first meeting of this committee took place today (Monday), specifically because it marks the International Civil Aviation Day where many countries, including Malta, commemorate the importance of civil aviation for social and economic development.
It is worth mentioning that this year, Malta commemorates the 105th anniversary since the first departed aircraft flight from our country.
Today, the aviation sector accounts for a significant part of the Maltese GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and supports almost 50,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.
Minister Ian Borg also mentioned that Malta is a highly reputable jurisdiction regarding aircraft registration and said how in recent years we have seen both an increase in aircraft registrations and the number of commercial companies that are choosing to base their operations in Malta.
He added that today, the Malta 9H Aviation Register has a total of more than 500 aircraft registered under its name as well as four new certified airlines, with three more potentially wanting to certify themselves shortly.
Minister Borg added that the concept of aviation leasing, a project which was announced earlier this year together with Prime Minister Robert Abela, was essential and pointed out that as a concept, it continues to raise the quality of the existing aviation centre by opening new opportunities for engineers, for legal entities which assist those who want to venture into new opportunities in Malta, for companies that offer financial services, for those that offer ancillary services such as aircraft maintenance and for the hospitality and property sectors among others.
Former European Commissioner Karmenu Vella said that the Maltese aviation sector is central to our economy and the Ministry’s main objective is to have a safe, competitive, and a sustainable industry that contributes to the overall Maltese economy.
He said that “this can only be achieved through a well-planned National Aviation Policy which aims to ensure the elements of high quality, safety, reliability, competitivity and sustainability in the areas of economic growth, connectivity, entrepreneurship, employment, consumer protection, and research and innovation. This is one of the priorities of the Aviation Advisory Committee.”
Mr Vella added that Minister Borg is also determined to stimulate and strive for better co-ordination and co-operation between all the major aviation stakeholders, both public and private. For this reason, another priority of the Aviation Advisory Committee is to set up and start an Aviation Stakeholders Forum where all stakeholders can contribute and be part of the decision-making process of the aviation policies.
The Aviation Stakeholders Forum will also allow all stakeholders to interact and communicate on their synergies and common interests.