Recent Amendments to Malta Aircraft Registration Act

Recent Amendments to Malta Aircraft Registration Act

Following feedback from stakeholders in the field, the Civil Aviation Department within Transport Malta introduced new amendments to the Aircraft Registration Act (the "ARA") through the Aircraft Registration (Amendment) Act of 2021 (the “Act”).

The ARA was established in Malta in 2010 to create a legal framework for registering non-commercial aircraft and to define the requirements for registering an aircraft in Malta. Some notable amendments introduced by the Act include the following:

New Aicraft Definitions

The Amendment Act introduced a new definition of “unmanned aircrafts” which means any aircraft operating or designed to operate autonomously or to be piloted remotely without pilot on board. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the definition for “aircraft” was also amended to include unmanned aircraft whose design is subject to certification under the EASA Basic Regulation and airframes with aircraft engines installed thereon…”


Increase in Registration Marks

Registration marks that were previously limited to a group of three capital letters in Roman characters immediately following the nationality mark for Malta, 9H, are now being extended to a group of three to five characters, which can be a combination of capital letters in Roman characters and/or Arabic numbers.


More flexible approach towards aircraft registration

With these changes, the process of registering an aircraft has become more flexible. Now, information that must be included on fire-proof plates has been reduced to the Malta registration marks, making the preparation of such plates easier. In addition, the Registrar General has been given discretionary authority to proceed with an aircraft's registration even if all of the required documents have not been submitted. It's important to remember that this level of discretion is limited, so certain documents must always be produced.


Introduction of a new warrant

A new warrant for ejection or expulsion was introduced by the Act through which a mortgagee is now allowed to request the publication of a warrant of ejection or expulsion through which occupants of the vessel or aircraft would have to vacate it within a specific period of time.



The Act has introduced a clearer framework for IDERA (‘Irrevocable De-Registration and Export Request Authorizations’) Regulations whilst also outlining a clearer procedure in relation to the enforcement of IDERA. 


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