Malta International Airport now once more has a facility that enables the public to enjoy the best view of the main runway and aircraft and passenger movements. These in addition to a background view of the towns and villages that border the airport. One reaches this ‘observation deck’ by walking through a corridor which recreates the whole history of the airport and recalls many nostalgic memories.
In the past, this ‘deck’ was regarded as the airport’s balcony and at various times this used to be packed with spectators on special occasions such as the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II and many other prestige visitors. On a more family basis, many observed the arrival or departure of relatives either emigrating or returning for a holiday to their home land, hoping to catch a first or last glimpse of them. It also served as an observation point for those whose hobby is recording aircraft movements.
The facility is located at the highest point of the airport and is still today highly popular with visitors. Patricia Attard Darmanin from the company’s Marketing Department confirmed this and said during the months it had been closed for refurbishment many people asked about it.
The new facility is always open and is free of charge. The deck is spacious and equipped with benches and is shaded from the sun with a special effects cover that provides shade as a simulation of the shade of tree branches and leaves. In some areas there is background information such as the distance to leading European cities.
Ms Attard Darmanin said when the refurbishment was planned it was not only for the deck but to the whole floor and this was done with views that recall the airport’s history as well as important facts and figures. She said this will certainly please aircraft enthusiasts.
In fact the whole corridor is an educational tour of the airport’s history and the history of aviation in Malta, highlighting all the important moments and the link the airport provides with the rest of the world.
Patricia Attard Darmanin said the renovation of the observation deck is the first phase of a project that will provide the whole airport with a new look, involving an investment of €12 million. She said the next great expectation is the provision of a ‘security screening area’ as well as providing a more spacious check-in hall to provide a better passenger service.
The total project should be completed before the start of next summer.