PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TOURISM: “Investment in human capital together with the private sector is crucial for the growth of our aviation industry”

Addressing the participants at a conference entitled ‘Checkpoint Malta: In Pursuit of Opening Skies’, Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis said he was delighted to have the Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation from India and the International Institute of Air and Space Law of Leiden University in the Netherlands, joining forces with the Maltese Ministry of Tourism and the University of Malta, with the purpose of organizing the eighth edition of the International Air Law Conference, followed by the Moot Court Competition. This competition will give the students present at the conference, the opportunity to gain experience in developing arguments in the field of international air law, whilst establishing contacts around the world.

The Minister mentioned four pertinent issues in aviation being: open skies and the liberalization of the rules and regulations of the international aviation industry in order to create a free-market environment for the airline industry; air passenger rights and the balance between legal and practical perspectives; the role of drones for surveillance purposes and aviation financing; and the proper means towards growing opportunities for businesses.

“My vision for the aviation sector can be summarized in also four objectives, that are: transforming Malta into a more attractive jurisdiction for institutions – willing to finance operations related to aviation; attracting companies, operating in the aircraft leasing environment; attracting more skills to satisfy the demands of the industry and improve the infrastructure required by companies to expand or establish operations in Malta”, explained Minister Zammit Lewis.

Positive developments in the industry require constant investment in human capital in order to provide a pool of adequately trained and skilled personnel. The collaboration with the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology and the Institute for Aerospace Technologies within the University of Malta provides students with the opportunity to specialize further in fields related to aviation. “I’m also pleased to see that the University of Malta is seeking further synergies with Leiden University in order to support the professional and industry network with further specialization in International Air Law”, added Minister Zammit Lewis.

The Government enacted new rules in order to create an appropriate environment to incentivize qualified aviation professionals whose specialized skills cannot be found locally, to work for a number of years in Malta.

Investment in human capital also features in the EU Aviation Package. It is an initiative aimed at generating growth, fostering innovation, developing the internal market and strengthening Europe’s role as a global actor. “The Maltese EU Presidency is set to address the challenges by focusing on regulatory concerns while at the same time facilitates the development of the economic aspect of aviation which contributes to economic growth and job creation”, said the Minister.

The Presidency considers the revision of the Regulation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) a priority, since it touches upon the safety of EU citizens. “Such an agreement would be an important milestone for the EU aviation sector aiming above all at the highest level of protection for European citizens,” emphasized Minister Zammit Lewis.

The Minister also referred to the impact of the introduction of drones. Basic national safety rules apply but the regulatory framework is still fragmented and legislation is rather underdeveloped. He stated that now is the time to unlock the EU remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) market with a combination of new and existing regulatory action at the European level dealing with all relevant issues, focusing upon the safety, security, privacy and data protection requirements within existing EU regulation.

“I will remain committed to work hard and pursue to implement the vision of this government for more growth within this sector over the next years and to provide opportunities for youths and experienced workers alike,” concluded Minister Zammit Lewis.

Source: Government of Malta