Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg along with Transport Malta launched an online and integrated drone portal system on Tuesday.
This system will be facilitating processes executed by operators, such as quicker and easier flight plan submissions and better access to weather forecasts on the day of their intended flight, the Transport Ministry said in a statement.
“This portal will make these processes less time consuming,” it added.
As a result of this system, the aviation sector “will be benefiting from greater efficiency, as amongst other things, the system will facilitate decreased use of complex machinery and equipment such as helicopters”.
This system will be utilised to make sure that both the implementation and execution of a robust regulation are practiced, so that human privacy and data protection are safeguarded, the Ministry stressed.
Furthermore, it is intended to ensure that any damage caused to both humans and property is completely avoided.
Minister Ian Borg said that law enforcement officers will be making sure that all drone operators hold a valid flight registration for all flight plans taking place whilst also ensuring that these same flights are approved and authorised by the Authority.
“The world is becoming more and more dynamic. That is a fact, and naturally we face both new challenges and opportunities. It is of utmost importance that as a Government we are always ready to tackle these challenges and further make the necessary changes and improvements to make sure that our country continues advancing”, said Minister Ian Borg.
The Minister stressed that the Government, along with Transport Malta is committed to a have a regulated and effective industry which will serve the country and those who visit it and provide the best possible service.
“I am very proud to be part of this Government with a holistic plan and which is always seeking to adopt the necessary changes and advancements to create a more sustainable aviation sector and potentially match its success with the maritime sector.”
The Minister further spoke about the importance of committing to a high level of seriousness in order to make sure that drone flights are never subject to breaking the critical regulation relating to human privacy. Moreover, drone flights will be prohibited from taking place near private properties, sensitive areas such as the embassies, Government buildings and prison facilities.
The EASA UAS (European Union Aviation Safety Agency – Unmanned Aircraft Systems) regulations come into force on the 31st of December 2020. These regulations classify UAS operations into three categories depending on the level of risk: open, specific and certified.
These regulations require registration of UAS operators, licensing of remote pilots, the member state to identify geographical zones restricted for UAS operations, and the member state to carry out market surveillance of drones.
The IDRONECT Drone Management System facilitates UAS operations in the Maltese airspace and compliance with the EASA regulations by providing an online system for the registration of UAS operators and a map indicating the permitted and restricted areas for drone operations, thereby enabling operators to submit flight plans as required.