The Civil Aviation Directorate of Transport Malta is the Aviation Regulator for Malta. As all the Maltese Islands fall within Controlled Airspace all Drone Operations need to be approved prior by the Authority.
Today no European Regulation exists for all Member States to be used unilaterally, certain Member States have local laws.
There are currently no local drone laws for Malta to regulate such an activity but certain provisions in the Air Navigation Order apply. However, permits for drone operation may be issued on a case by case basis by the Director General for Civil Aviation.
The Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) has adopted, and uses with success, a risk based approach on a case by case basis depending on the scope and complexity of such a request and, more importantly, on the risk of such an operation.
In line with draft European laws and methodology, the CAD will not allow drone operations over
• Members of the public
• Vehicles or vessels
• Populated areas / towns / cities / villages
• Close to the approaches of runways or airports
• Areas of National Critical Importance (hospitals, power stations, buildings of Political importance, Osmosis Plants, etc.)
• In all of the above, to drop any articles without an exemption from the Malta Air Navigation Order being issued.
Standard Documentation to be presented to the CAD for the evaluation of an operation (commercial and/or leisure outside of leisure zones)
An operator must submit the following documentation to the CAD at least 7 working days before the initial date of operation
- Type of drone (or drones) to be used
- Submission of technical data or manual of instructions of each drone to be used
- Submission of any flight safety programmes or operations manual that the operator may have (if available)
- Submission of any previous authorisations from any other civil aviation authority or exemptions (if available)
- Submission of details of the operator (company) and proficiency of the pilot (ground station controller)
- Copy of the original signed insurance document for third party liability for the operation covering the geographical areas for such operation and specifically mentioning drone operations
Per Each Operation
Initially a generic overview and scope of the intended operation
Using a simple overlay of the area (using such a tool like Google maps) the operator must indicate clearly
• Area of operation with lateral operational limits in a Lat & Long format, including defining the maximum operating height
• Exact points of launching and landing (Latitude and Longitude) of the drone within this operational area
• Submission of a risk assessment of the exact operational areas, identifying hazards and the mitigations to be put in place on how to protect aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and property