In April 2013, the Minister for Tourism set up the Aviation Advisory Committee (AAC) in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and all relevant actors in the aviation sector of Malta to assist in the development of a Civil Aviation Policy, and the establishment of a long-term economic growth plan from 2014 to 2020. This policy highlights the growing importance of the aviation sector in Malta as being a direct contribution to Tourism, consequently the gross domestic product (GDP) and employment by facilitating trade and investment, providing better access to markets, enhancing communication and business interactions, improving business efficiency through time saving, reducing cost and improving reliability for business travelers and air freight operators.
The aviation sector benefits high value industries in Malta such as the financial, maritime, legal, e-gaming and business management sectors, which are knowledge intensive, and increasingly global in operations. People in these industries travel widely in the course of their business and account for a good percentage of all aviation in Malta.
Huge opportunities for growth in air traffic and aviation related activities are developing in the Middle East, Gulf Area and Africa, and Malta is strategically well situated to exploit these opportunities. The Maltese government is therefore conscious of the increasing potential and important role of Business Aviation. The forecast of in-service Business Jet aircraft in Europe shows an increase from 2,180 units in 2010 to 3,975 in 2020. The Government is therefore actively encouraging and working together with the airport operator to identify the ideal location for a General and Business Aviation Terminal.
The Maltese Government also supports a regulatory approach to recreational aviation. Further consultation will be sought with financial, legal and technical services experts with industry experience and able to spot the bottlenecks and deficiencies that are today impeding growth in this sector. A revaluation exercise of all current aviation duties and taxes will be carried out in order to streamline the charging system and embrace the user-payer principle whereby the user/s of a facility, resource or service pay directly for the amount they use, rather than the cost being shared by all the users or a community equally.
Through continued oversight by the authority, the Government will ensure that all activities are and will be conducted in a manner that satisfies regulatory compliance and that the highest level of safety is achieved and maintained through the State Security Programme (SSP), making safety and security its number one priority in enhancing the aviation sector of Malta.
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Dr. Jonathan De Giovanni, Director of Legal and International Tax
Mr. James Lephew, Compliance and Regulatory Licensing Executive