BOV Aviation Outlook 2014
Three top exponents in the local aviation industry were recently recognized for their contribution to the sector during the fourth edition of the BOV Aviation Outlook which was organized by the BOV Aviation Outlook Committee in collaboration with Bank of Valletta at BOV Centre in Sta Venera.
In his opening address, Mr Cassar White welcomed the numerous audience and said “Bank of Valletta sees itself as the automatic choice for those who are seriously considering partnering with a reliable and solid financial institution. The Bank is forecasting substantial growth in the aviation sector and, as a result, provides a professional personalized service for aircraft operators that register their assets on the Island”.
Senior Aviation Journalist Marica Vella engaged with the audience and spoke about a number of challenges that the country needs to address with a view to become more competitive in the aviation industry. She focused her address on the continuous need to provide training to those aspiring to making a career in this industry.
The BOV Aviation Outlook was also addressed by the Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations Malta (FELTOM) Chief Executive Officer Genevieve Abela. Under her helm, FELTOM has taken an active role to find new niches in which the EFL (English as a foreign language) sector could grow. Aviation is one of the main areas that offers huge potential and opportunities for synergy between flight training organisations and English Language Schools. FELTOM is actively promoting this cross fertilization between the two sectors. As Genevieve Abela put it, this is a win-win situation in which both sectors have all to gain and nothing to lose. She revealed that the first agreement on these lines between a flight school and a local English Language institution is in the concluding phases.
The event was also addressed by Johan Debattista, Ministry Coordinator-Aviation Matters, who focused on the launched Aviation Policy and how the government intends to give this sector all the attention that it needs in order to make sure it continues to expand and give the much needed value-added in the economy.
For the third year running the World Airnews Aviation Awards were presented during the BOV Aviation Outlook. The awards were presented at Bank of Valletta’s head office in Santa Venera when the fourth edition of the Malta Special was launched. The Malta Special is a 9-page spread featured in World Airnews magazine. WORLD AIRNEWS is Africa’s oldest and widest circulating aviation journal and is read regularly by senior executives and by people in all walks of life who are interested, or directly involved, in the aviation industry.
This year besides World Airnews, leading Italian aeronautical publication JP4 Aeronautica also published a 4-page feature about the local aviation industry. For the first time ever, two international aeronautical publications had specific inserts focused on the local aviation industry. This was the brainchild of Malta-based journalists Riccardo Flask, Marica Vella, Joanne Calleja and Chris Cauchi. Malta as a potential mini-Aberdeen and the first wide-body-operator to be registered on the island are some of the themes discussed in the published articles.
The selection committee, entrusted with identifying the winners, was chaired by aviation lawyer Dr. Francesca Galea who was assisted by Captain Sinclair Portelli and University lecturer Riccardo Flask. The Aviator of the Year award was presented by John Cassar White, Chairman at Bank of Valletta.
The award was handed to First Officer Mark Attard who graduated with a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering in 2001. Mark Attard was the iPad EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) Project Leader where he was responsible for the successful changeover of Air Malta's EFB Class 1 devices to iPads, from project conceptualization, business case development to final implementation. Mark Attard was appointed First Officer in July 2003 and since then he has served in a number of executive roles within the national airline. He formed part of the core group tasked with implementing Electronic Charting on iPad and is a very valid member of Air Malta’s Fuel and Environment Cost Management team.
Joe Ciliberti was presented with The Leader of the Year Award by Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis. He was one of the first people on the island to travel exclusively to different parts of the world to observe and photograph aircraft. In 1987 he became president of the Malta Aviation Society. In July 1993 he was given permission to hold the first Malta International Airshow. In less than three months he had everything set up. Fast forward to today and Joe and MAS are at it again, organizing the 22nd edition of the Malta International Airshow.
The World Airnews Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Muscat to Captain Michael O’Brien. Michael O’Brien has distinguished himself at the Civil Aviation Directorate for being a hands-on person, and always willing to give a helping hand. Operators have come to admire Captain O’Brien for being unflustered, determined and resilient but most of all for always having a listening ear when needed. He is well loved by his colleagues and will be sorely missed when he will retire in July after 12-years at the CAD.
The Airnews MALTA BUREAU has now embarked on another ambitious project, a LIBYA SPECIAL, focusing on the investment potential that exists in the Libyan aviation scene. This will be published in the December issue of World Airnews.