An ever more robust aviation sector
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg gave the opening address to the seventh Annual Mediterranean Business Aviation, aimed at connecting business aviation in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Minister Borg opened his speech by expressing his pride in the sector, with the number of registered aircraft having doubled since 2012. This means more than 290 registered aircraft, while the number of Air Operator Certificate holders has increased from 18 to 35 over the same period.
Speaking about the dynamicity and hard work of the busy aviation sector in Malta, he stated that even now several operators engage in discussion with the Civil Aviation Directorate, either to increase their fleet or to establish themselves as new operators within our jurisdiction.
He went on to explain the factors which have led to this ongoing success, which include the introduction of the Aircraft Registration Act in 2010 and its subsequent amendments. These have helped establish Malta as an aviation hub with a strong yet flexible legal framework, helping Malta along in its process to steadily build up a cluster of aviation services ranging from maintenance to financing.
The minister also referred to the fact that, since 21 March 2016, Malta has been benefitting from the so-called Cape Town Conven- tion discounts which can go up to 10% and applies to aircraft finance transactions which are supported by export credit agencies.
Minister Borg added that Malta is now also becoming a leader in a broad range of supporting aviation services and looks forward to continue expanding its already impressive aviation cluster by attracting more aviation companies to set up shop in Malta. He stated that 10 years ago, nobody would have thought that the industry would be where it is today and reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that there are measures which encourage quality and value added to the sector, and not mere volume.
He spoke about the challenges brought about by this success, namely that there is a larger demand than supply of workers in the sector. On the other hand, he also expressed his belief that the growth of the industry itself will create the skills community it requires to sustain itself.
The minister reiterated govern- ment’s commitment to continue facilitating the day-to-day operations of aviation companies, including the operation of the regulator as well as providing the appropriate infrastructure, which both fall within his remit.
Minister Borg concluded by explaining that the aviation industry is far from static and reiterated government’s open-minded, proactive, reliable approach and its focus and commitment to ensure that the industry keeps gaining momentum.