During a virtual webinar marking the first event of the Aviation Stakeholders Forum, Minister Ian Borg remarked how, until recently, public entities involved in the aviation sector fell under the remit of several ministries, whereas today most of these entities are grouped under the auspices of the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects.
Minister Borg said that, “The aviation sector has and will continue to be a fundamental pillar for the Maltese economy. The re-grouping of public entities involved in the aviation sector under one ministry, the set-up of the Aviation Advisory Committee and now the formation of the Aviation Stakeholders Forum are proof of our commitment and determination to help the sector grow bigger and better than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. We are taking the necessary actions to ensure that the Maltese aviation sector remains not only one of the best in Europe, but also globally.”
The Aviation Stakeholders Forum is a common platform open to all aviation stakeholders in Malta. The Forum is giving a diverse array of public and private aviation stakeholders a greater voice and an opportunity to be more involved in policy making. The input and participation of all those involved in the Maltese aviation sector will assist 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 that this sector has to offer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on the industry. As aviation activities halted, Malta has come to understand better its dependency on the aviation sector. Nationally, the sector contributes no less than €600 million towards our economy, carries over seven million passengers annually, and employs a total of 13,500 people.
Future prospective plans for the aviation sector require the need to make the sector more sustainable within the economic, social and environmental dimensions.
Karmenu Vella, the chairperson of the Aviation Advisory Committee, said that, “In order to remain competitive, the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must transform this sector into a more resilient and sustainable one. To this end, the Aviation Advisory Committee, under the direction of Minister Ian Borg, is working on a number of areas to ensure that, once it recovers, the Maltese aviation industry will continue to develop and grow bigger and better. I am confident that with all players working together, the sector can emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic even more robust and more sustainable than ever before.”
Capt. Charles Pace, Director General of the Civil Aviation Directorate at Transport Malta, said that, “Acting together is key. Enhanced coordination will allow a smoother and gradual reinstating of connectivity, without compromising our health and the environment. Smooth operations require a collaborative decision-making process by all, for the benefit of the whole aviation network. It is therefore important that every stakeholder engages and participates in the various discussions that this forum will be holding. The Civil Aviation Directorate is very proud of these achievements and will work hard to continue assisting the industry.”