Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February, 2021 at 2:32 pm by Andre Camilleri
‘Gulf Med Aviation Services plans to offer job opportunities to MCAST and UoM engineering students who wish to specialize in helicopter engineering, maintenance, and operations. Further talks shall be pursued to offer additional specialized training units that focus on helicopter MRO services.’– Minister Schembri
Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri reiterated the Government’s support towards the aviation industry in view of the current circumstances, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely hit this sector.
When visiting Gulf Med Aviation Services, a company now in its fifth year of operations through the establishment of its helicopter commercial flight operations and maintenance services in Malta, Minister Silvio Schembri said that despite a challenging scenario, the time is ripe to map out a holistic approach for the aviation industry, an approach which will enable it to get back on its feet.
‘Gulf Med Aviation Services plans to offer job opportunities to MCAST and UoM engineering students who wish to specialize in helicopter engineering, maintenance, and operations. Further talks shall be pursued to offer additional specialized training units that focus on Helicopter MRO services’, said Minister Schembri.
Minister Schembri welcomed Gulf Med’s plans to invest further in training, equipment, and staff to meet its future challenges, particularly their efforts to place Malta on the map by establishing an Aircraft Maintenance Training Organisation.
‘Our vision for the aviation industry goes beyond: it includes the Airport Strategy Plan—a holistic long-term plan which includes a number of proposals for projects that would see the generation of several innovative opportunities, including a new cargo handling and freight facility, a general aviation terminal that caters to the needs of VIPs and executive jets, an engine run-up test area for the aircraft servicing industry, as well as a separate heliport unaffected by other aircraft’s movements, among others. Additionally, works with regard to the investment of over €5 million to upgrade one of the taxiways at the Malta International Airport is underway. This, upon completion, will accommodate wide-body aircraft, thereby enabling the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in this area to attract a new range of clients when their business returns to normal. It must be said that regardless of such extraordinary circumstances, as a government we are strongly mapping out where we want to go, reaffirming our vision for these islands and the sustainment of the aviation industry as a strong economic contributor. Our size as a nation does not make us lose heart, on the contrary, it motivates us further to maintain our innovative drive, so that eventually we will come out of the storm even stronger than before,’ added Minister Schembri.
“The aviation industry as a whole has suffered substantially during these last months. We are proud to have continued our operations, thanks to the humbling dedication of our employees and their families. We are determined to make it through the new normal. The assistance extended to us by the authorities has been consistently positive at every level, and we are truly grateful to have these support structures around us,’ said Emma Finlay-Broadbelt, Gulf Med Aviation Services Chief Executive Officer.
From their base in Malta, Gulf Med Aviation Services currently provides maintenance on Leonardo Helicopters AW189, AW139 models, as well as Airbus Helicopters EC135 and Bell Helicopters Textron B412. They were recently contracted for the heavy maintenance of the two Cyprus Police AW139 helicopters. Their Malta base provides maintenance and airport assistance to AW189 flights operating to and from offshore Libya, which in the near future Gulf Med Aviation Services will be operating directly.
INDIS Chief Executive Officer Karl Azzopardi said that whilst we look forward to seeing the entire industry return to the strong performance that was being registered prior to the pandemic, all of us at INDIS-Malta, what was until recently known as Malta Industrial Parks, remain committed towards supporting our tenants in whatever way we can to ensure their business remains sustainable.