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ARTICLES > GADGETS & TECH


100 YEARS OF FLIGHT IN MALTA

Tags:   History,   Aircraft,   Career,   Adventure

By Colin Fitz   -  February 16, 2015


   History malta,  Aircraft malta,  Career malta,  Adventure malta,  100 years of flight in Malta malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

Photo credit:  Estelle Calleja


In the last week, several activities have been held to mark the centenary of the day the first aeroplane flew in Malta in 1915. To mark the occasion, SWAG asked aviation photographer Estelle Calleja to share some of the exciting snaps she took at one of the events, the Armed Forces of Malta Air Wing open day held on 10 February.

 


On the initiative of the Tourism Ministry, an open day was held on 10 February, a public holiday, at Malta's sole airport to commemorate the 100th anniversary of aviation in Malta.

 


The AFM Air Wing together with Malta International Airport, Air Malta, Lufthansa Technik, Medavia and SR Technics showcased their operations, while Malta Air Traffic Services offered tours of the control tower. The island's general aviation schools also be took part.

 


The Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association Malta (AOPA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, was due to organise a flypast featuring various types of aircraft over Malta and Gozo on Sunday 15 February to mark the centenary, but unforseen circumstances saw the event postponed.

 


The low-altitude formation flypast was to depart from Luqa Airport at and over fly the sites of former airfields in Malta, including Qrendi, Hal Far, Ta’ Qali and the Gozo Heliport, part of which was also a military airfield for a short time in World War II.

 


AOPA will announce the new date for the flypast on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/aopa.malta

 


On Thursday 12 February, an awards evening for personnel involved in Malta's aviation industry was held at the Malta Aviation Museum as part of the events related to the centenary celebration.

 


Here are some key dates related to aviation in the Maltese islands:

 


1915: The first recorded flight in Malta was made by a British seaplane over Grand Harbour.


1922: The first airfield was constructed at Hal Far.

 

1941 Luqa airfield starts operations.


1959: Malta joined the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

 

1971: The Malta Aviation Society is set up.

 

1972 The Armed Forces of Malta Air Wing is set up with four light helicopters donated from Germany.


1973: Malta’s flag carrier Air Malta is set up.


1977: Luqa Airport’s main runway is extended to cater for larger aircraft.

 

1992: The first Malta Air Show is held. This year's event is due to be held on 26 and 27 September.

 

1994: The Malta Aviation Museum opens its doors.


2010: The Aircraft Registration Act was enacted to regulate the registration of aircraft and aircraft mortgages and to introduce rules on special privileges on aircraft.


In other local aviation news, the government has announced it is in the process of amending the law to attract more international business to the sectors of aircraft leasing and aircraft maintenance.

 

Addressing a press conference marking Malta’s 100 years of aviation, Tourism Minister Dr Edward Zammit Lewis said that while the country was doing well in the field of aircraft registration, it was lagging behind in the fields of aircraft leasing, financing and maintenance.


SOME NOTES ON THE AFM AIR WING

 

Based at Luqa Airport, the AFM's Air Wing is the aerial component of the AFM. The Wing lends itself to all deployments of air assets in various roles and missions in order to maintain the territorial integrity of the Maltese Islands.

 

This is achieved by providing: Maritime Surveillance; Search and rescue on land and at sea; MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) and CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation); VIP & military conveyances; Reconnaissance including Aerial photography & filming; Security escort and limited fire support; and Transportation of troops.

 

The unit is headed by Lt Col. Clinton O'Neil.The AFM Air Wing is assisted by the Italian Military Mission's two AB-212 search and rescue (SAR) helicopters.

 

The Air Wing personnel and its fixed-wing and helicopter assets are ready to deploy on a 24/7 basis as instructed by the AFM's Rescue Coordination Centre.




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