The first academy for “advanced training” in the field of drone work has launched in Malta.
Described as an “important step for Malta in the aviation industry”, Transport Minister Ian Borg and Energy Minister Miriam Dalli hailed the new Malta Drone Center and announced a €500,000 investment in the academy.
The centre, located in Paola, will train, test and build drones, and is Malta’s first dedicated drone centre.
“A few months ago we announced the launch of a drone registration system so that we would not only comply with European laws, but also allow us to have such investments. Today’s investment of €500,000, and which will also be employing a number of professionals, is the first in this industry and I look forward to having more of this kind in the coming months,” Minister Borg said.
“In just over two months, we have seen that in our country, through this online system, we have more than 1,000 drones registered.”
Borg said the government was committed to keeping the island “one of the best European players in aviation”.
“Today we are giving another signal of how we are continuing to diversify our economy,” Minister Dalli said. “We are showing how even at a time when the international aviation industry is going through a very difficult time, we are not only supporting existing industries, but we are thinking about the future.”
“These are activities that bring together technology, engineering and aviation: aviation that helps several other industries,” she continued. “Activities that all rely on good jobs and that can help us even from the point of view of environmental sustainability, as we see how drone flights can help boost efficiency in various areas.”
In addition to this investment, a Site Access Agreement was also signed today between Malta Enterprise and Hibernians FC so that while it is not being used for football, parts of the Kordin stadium can be used for drone flying.
Transport Malta has also approved drone use in the stadium, with more sites offering a different flight opportunity to potentially be announced later.
This licence, which is the first of its kind in Malta, is based on the regulations of the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and will make it possible to provide training and preparation for exams in order to operate the many types of drones including those of a certain specialisation.
Transport Malta will also serve as an agent that will assist in the theoretical notes, also through online videos.
This academy, which is a joint venture between a Maltese and a foreign company, was also assisted through business incentives by Malta Enterprise.