Airports

Ownership

Who owns the airports?

Malta International Airport, which is the only international airport in Malta, is currently owned and operated by Malta International Airport plc.

Licensing

What system is there for the licensing of airports?

The licensing of airports is regulated by the Civil Aviation (Aerodrome Licensing) Regulations.

The applicant for an aerodrome licence has to submit for acceptance to the director general of civil aviation an aerodrome manual and amendments thereto as may be required from time to time. The manual shall consist of five parts, which shall contain the information specified in appendix 1 to  International Civil Aviation Organization Document 9774.

The following applies to the aerodrome manual:

  • it shall be typewritten or printed, and signed by the aerodrome operator;
  • it shall be in a format that is easy to revise;
  • it shall have a system for recording the currency of pages and amendments thereto, including a page for logging revisions; and
  • it shall be organised in a manner that will facilitate the preparation, review and acceptance or approval process.

 

Furthermore the operator of an aerodrome used for public transport purposes shall comply with the Standards and Recommended Practices of volume 1 and volume 2, Annex 14 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, except for differences filed by Malta, and with national regulations, as well as with any conditions that are specified in the aerodrome licence.

Economic regulation

Is there a system of economic regulation of airports? How does it function?

The Airport Economic Regulations transpose into Maltese law Directive 2009/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on airport charges. The Airport Charges Regulatory Board is responsible for the determination, review and regulation of airport charges as well as the quality of service provided. The board is composed, along with the chairperson, of the following members:

  • one representative from the Civil Aviation Directorate within the Authority for Transport in Malta (the Authority);
  • one representative of the Airport Users Committee, which is set up at the airport representing airport users; and
  • one representative of the airport operator.

 

The members and the chairperson of the board have one vote each and the chairperson has a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes. In the event of disagreement between the members of the board over a decision on airport charges, every member may seek the intervention of the Authority, which shall examine the justifications for the modification of the system or the level of airport charges.

Access

Are there laws or rules restricting or qualifying access to airports?

The Airports and Civil Aviation (Security) Act (Chapter 405 of the Laws of Malta) states that no person shall enter a restricted area unless he or she is in possession of a security pass or a temporary authorisation in writing issued by the manager of airport security.

Slot allocation

How are slots allocated at congested airports?

Under the Allocation of Slots at Airport Regulations, a scheduling coordinator is appointed and is solely responsible for the scheduling of slots. He or she may consult the Airport Scheduling Committee on the scheduling of the slots, and, subject to the provisions of Regulation 6, his or her decision is final.

On the basis of Regulation 6, an air carrier may submit a complaint, to be made in writing to the Airport Scheduling Committee, which shall investigate that complaint and may make recommendations to the scheduling coordinator to review or alter his or her decision.

Ground handling

Are there any laws or rules specifically relating to ground handling? What are they?

According to the Airport (Ground handling) Regulations, the managing body of the airport has to ensure free access by suppliers of ground handling services established throughout the European Union to the market for the provision of ground handling services to third parties in accordance with Council Directive 96/67/EC.

However, not more than two suppliers are authorised to provide each category of airside services and at least one of the authorised suppliers may not be directly or indirectly controlled by the following:

  • the managing body of the airport;
  • any airport user who has carried more than 25 per cent of the passengers or freight recorded at the airport during the year preceding that in which those suppliers were selected; or
  • a body controlling or controlled directly or indirectly by the managing body or any such user.

 

The managing body of the airport, either directly or indirectly, may also provide airside services in addition to the other two authorised suppliers.

The term ‘airside services’ means the following categories of ground handling services:

  • baggage handling;
  • freight and mail handling as regards the physical handling of freight and mail, whether incoming, outgoing or being transferred, between the air terminal and the aircraft;
  • fuel and oil handling; and
  • ramp handling.

 

Air traffic control

Who provides air traffic control services? And how are they regulated?

Malta Air Traffic Services Limited provides air traffic control services in Malta. These services are regulated by the Air Navigation Order, which has also incorporated the rules found in the Single European Sky Regulation (EC) No. 550/2004 regulating air traffic controllers.

Law stated date

Correct on:

Give the date on which the above content is accurate.

2 July 2020.