Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg visited the offices of DC Aviation, where yesterday he launched the Aviation Stakeholders Forum, as promised in this year’s budget.
This forum will include all stakeholders involved in the aviation sector in Malta, including both governmental and private entities. It is expected to hold several meetings to keep track of the performance of the industry during the previous year, as well as to analyse the performance of the sector during the year. This will help the government to further develop and drive this sector forward, not only by addressing current needs, but also by preparing for the future needs and opportunities offered by the aviation sector in Malta.
Minister Ian Borg recalled the important role of the Aviation Advisory Committee, which was set up in December of last year, and which was a very important step in order to further strengthen coordination between ministries and public entities in the aviation sector. In less than four months, four meetings of the Aviation Advisory Committee were held, and it was through these developments which created a solid foundation that it was then decided to set up and launch the Aviation Stakeholders Forum, which brings together and gives a greater voice to all stakeholders in the sector.
Minister Ian Borg said that, “The aviation sector will remain part of our strategy for economic recovery. This is a sector that contributes no less than €600 million to our economy, is carrying over seven million passengers, and employs a total of 13,500 people. Although the COVID-19 pandemic had a strong impact on the industry due to travel restrictions, it was this period which made us appreciate more and recognise the dependence and importance of the sector. This initiative is once again a proof that this government is a progressive one, and that its commitment does not stop at helping and strengthening all the companies in the field of aviation which are based in our country, but that its vision looks well into the future. We are looking at how we can strengthen and continue to grow this sector so that it not only remains one of the best in Europe, but also globally.”
Architect Karmenu Vella praised the work being done by Minister Borg in the field of aviation. He mentioned in particular the extensive work underway in the Aviation Advisory Committee. He said that the launch of the Aviation Stakeholders Forum is a clear demonstration of how much the government is committed to further improving its relationship with the stakeholders. Architect Vella stressed how with such initiatives the government is not only fulfilling its role of legislator but is also facilitating and strengthening the synergies that exist between the stakeholders themselves.
Director General for Civil Aviation Captain Charles Pace said that, “If there was ever a time that the aviation industry united and pushed for reforms and understanding, it is today. A unified voice is required to push for a balanced approach that allows the industry to restart and safeguard the jobs and protect investment. The contribution of these companies to the economy is extremely important and we need to be not only grateful, but also willing to help and listen to their requirements.”
Chief Executive for DC Aviation Stanley Bugeja said that, “We are optimistic about this development because, for the first time ever, all stakeholders, public and private, will be sitting together on a regular basis, making sure that our jurisdiction remains one at the forefront in the industry.”