The Air Navigation Act 2023


Malta enjoys an increased recognition as an aviation services provider and is continuously seeking to promote the development of a broad spectrum of aviation business.

The Air Navigation Act, Chapter 641 of the Laws of Malta, came into force on the 1st of January 2024, and repealed the Civil Aviation (Air Operators’ Certificates) Act, the Air Navigation Order (S.L. 499.09); and the Civil Aviation (Air Transport Licencing) (Fees) Regulations. It seeks to set out a clear legal framework to support the industry’s growth in Malta.

The Air Navigation Act: -

  • Applies to any aircraft registered in Malta and their crew; and to any aircraft of any country of registration when within the Maltese territory.
  • Does not apply to State aircraft, their components, and their personnel and organizations involved in the activities and services which the aircraft perform.
  • Sets out the scope and functions of the “competent authority” in Malta being the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Authority for Transport in Malta established in terms of the Authority for Transport in Malta Act, with its functions under the Act being those of inter alia: –
    • regulating the navigation of aircraft over the Maltese airspace and the technical compliance requirements for aircraft registered in Malta and their operation;
    • ensuring that Malta conforms with obligations of the Chicago Convention, its Annexes, Standards, and Recommended Practices;
    • ensuring the application of EU Regulations regarding aviation safety;
    • ensuring safe operation of aircraft falling outside the scope of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139;
    • ensuring that applicable aircrafts and their components comply with Annex 16 of the Chicago Convention;
    • establishing a reporting system which facilitates the collection and analysis of details of reported occurrences;
    • issuing regulatory instruments (having the force of law) required for the discharge of the competent authority’s functions under the Act, thereby enhancing adequate aviation safety standards;
    • Carrying out any necessary search, investigation and enforcement of operators to ensure that there are no breaches of the Act or any regulatory instrument made under it.
    • establishing fees to be charged for the issue of any licence, authorisation, or any other document, and the copy thereof, or the undergoing of any examination, test, inspection, investigation, or the grant of any permission or approval required by the Act;


The Act also establishes an Aviation Appeals Board with the power to hear appeals (filed within 20 days) with respect to:

  • decisions stating that a person is not fit to hold or be awarded a licence, or to perform any duties;
  • decisions stating that a person, organisation, or undertaking, is not fit to hold or be awarded a licence, permit, certificate or other authorisation to operate;
  • decisions to ground an aircraft;
  • results of any test or examination required to obtain a licence;
  • refusals to grant, or any decisions to suspend or revoke a licence, permit, or authorisation; and
  • decisions to take enforcement measures, enforcement orders, or cease and desist orders.
  • administrative penalties imposed by regulatory instrument and imposed by the Directorate;

For more information regarding aviation services in Malta including aircraft registration, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on