Proposes a scheme to help youths undertake course to become aviation pilots
The effect of Brexit on the Maltese aviation industry as well as the training for prospective air pilots were among themes discussed during the seventh edition of the BOV Aviation Outlook.
Captain Norman D’Amato said that over a span of 40 years about 300 Maltese nationals had qualified for a licence as pilots of passenger aircraft. However, he pointed out that the expenses involved may act as a deterrent leaving prospective pilots to give up because they cannot face the costs. He proposed a scheme should be launched to attract more youths to follow the pilots’ licence course.
D’Amato was among the first group of Maltese youths in the mid-1970s to undergo training and qualify for piloting Air Malta aircraft. He said today there are about 300 pilots employed with Air Malta and other airlines.
During the conference he said he expected the demand for pilots to continue to increase. He said that such a course costs €100,000 and not everybody can undertake this commitment. He therefore urged the establishment of a scheme that would enable prospective entrants to be able to fund their course.
D’Amato said the Government should provide a guarantee with a bank to make a loan available and payable for those wishing to acquire a licence.
Also speaking at the BOV Aviation Outlook, Kristian Farrugia who is a First Officer with Air Malta, said that there is a strong interest from UK registered airlines to acquire an EU Air Certificate to ensure their commercial interested are not affected by Brexit. This will enable Malta to obtain more registered students from these airlines.
Transport Minister Ian Borg said that todate more than 30 airlines have included Malta in their route and there are now 100 routes covered to and from Malta.
The Minister said as a result of the change of legislation regarding the registration of aircraft there has been a positive benefit with the number of aircraft now registered in Malta since 2012 having doubled to 270.
During the conference several awards were given to persons who have distinguished themselves in the aviation sector by their contribution. The BOV Lifetime Achievement Award went to Martin Azzopardi – an aviation insurance expert.