Malta has been steadily increasing aviation activity over the last few years, creating a need for aviation services. Although it is best known as a holiday destination, Malta is also an important aviation hub in Europe.
The aviation industry is an integral part of the Maltese economy. It has had a significant impact on Malta, providing new employment opportunities and boosting tourism. The exponential growth of aviation in Malta has led to the Malta Aviation Conference and Expo (MACE).
9H, Malta’s aviation register, is one of the fastest-growing ones in Europe. There are around 900 aircrafts registered in the country. The conference is one of the efforts in fostering collaboration, healthy dialogue, and sharing of best practices to expand horizons.
Recent Amendments to Malta’s Aircraft Registration Act
Another recent effort in strengthening Malta’s aviation industry is the amending of the Aircraft Registration Act (Cap 503 of the Laws of Malta) last July 6, 2021. The Aircraft Registration (Amendment) Act (Act 37 of 2021 of the Laws of Malta) has been commissioned by the Civil Aviation Directorate within Transport Malta, following feedback from various industry players.
The amendment aimed to:
- Facilitate the future registration of aircraft, including creating a greater pool of available registration marks.
- Introduce specific regulations for the registration, de-registration, and enforcement of Irrevocable De-registration and Export Request Authorisations (the “IDERA”).
- Introduce a new warrant of ejectment or expulsion.
Initially, the registration marks were limited to three capital letters in Roman characters immediately following the nationality mark for Malta, 9H. Now, it is extended to a group of three to five characters, which can be a combination of capital letters in Roman characters and/or Arabic numbers.
Moreover, the Registrar General has discretionary powers to proceed with aircraft registration even though not all of the documents required for registration have been provided.
The amendment has also defined “Unmanned Aircraft,” allowing the registration of aircraft ‘operating or designed to operate autonomously or to be piloted remotely without a pilot on board.’
With the recent amendments, there is further regulation of the IDERA registration, de-registration, and enforcement. IDERA holders now have more certainty with the timelines within which the Director of Civil Aviation must register and enforce the IDERA.
Only one IDERA can be registered. It has to be issued by the registrant, which is usually the aircraft operator. The law states that the Civil Aviation Directorate shall act upon the IDERA at all times upon the enforcement of an IDERA without the Civil Aviation Directorate having to enter into the merits of the case. This is unless there is an international interest that ranks higher in priority to the registered IDERA.
Lastly, an aircraft or vessel owner or any mortgagee can request the issuance of a warrant of ejectment or expulsion. This is by which the operator or lessee or other occupants of the vessel or aircraft leave the aircraft or vessel within a specific time. This amendment complements the existing warrant of arrest.
Touchdown with Endevio
The aviation conference and the amendments to the laws are just two of the efforts towards stronger aviation ties between Malta and its aviation partners abroad. Endevio is a company that has been at the forefront in assisting aviation stakeholders with their new aircraft acquisition projects. We have been working towards structuring aviation acquisitions and placing aircraft with aviation investors around the world.
Endevio is led by a dynamic team with extensive expertise in advising aviation companies on their aviation projects. The aviation specialists combine this experience with knowledge of Maltese aviation legislation and practice to provide an integrated one-stop aviation solution.