Operational Requirements for the use of Drones in Malta

Self Declaration Form for the safe operations of Drones


Certain provisions in the Air Navigation Order apply to drone activities, however, to date there are no specific drone laws for Malta to regulate such an activity. A drone operator may sign and submit a self-declaration form found here which will allow the owner and/or operator to operate such drone within prescribed conditions and operating limitations. The self-declaration form when complete shall be sent to drones.aviation@transport.gov.mt. The validity of the self-declaration will be of 6 months from the signature date.

Single Permits other than the self-declaration

If the operating conditions or operational requirements in the self-declaration need to be exceeded then a one-off permit may be issued on a case by case basis by the Director General for Civil Aviation. The Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) requires that every operator who requests such permit conducts a risk assessment.

Documentation submission checklist for the Single permit

An operator must submit the following documentation to the CAD at least 7 working days before the initial date of 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)  including the exact points of launching and landing (Latitude and Longitude) of the drone within this operational area

  • 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
  • Submission of any previous authorisations from any other civil aviation authority or exemptions (if available)
  • Submission of details of the operator (company) and proficiency (experience) of the drone pilots
  • Copy of the original signed insurance document for third party liability covering the scope and complexity of the requested operation covering the specific geographical areas/limits for such operation
  • Submission of a risk assessment identifying hazards and the mitigations to be put in place on how to protect aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and property.

European Regulation

Today no European Regulation exists for all Member States to be used unilaterally. Currently, there is an opinion of a draft regulation by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which is expected to be in place by 4th quarter 2018 or first quarter of 2019.

EASA of which Malta is a member has issued the following important links and information leaflets for drone operations.

https://www.easa.europa.eu/system/files/dfu/EASA Drone Safety Leaflet_web.pdf

https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/dfu/213888_EASA_DRONE_POSTER___v5.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xs_eVx4nuw

https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/dfu/Opinion No 01-2018.pdf 

 

Notes

  •  Drone operators and pilots should be aware that the collection of images of identifiable individuals, even inadvertently, when using cameras mounted on small drones, may be subject to the Data Protection Act.
  • Drone operators must be aware of their responsibilities regarding operations from private land and any requirements to obtain the appropriate permission before operating from a particular site. In particular, they must ensure that they observe the relevant trespass laws and do not unwittingly commit a trespass whilst conducting a flight.
  • The CAD does not regulate airspace which falls within the confines (highest obstacle on the premises and lateral boundaries) of private property.
  • It is recommended however that operators operating within the confines of private property for the purposes of filming seek consent from the adjacent neighbouring houses by means of a written ‘no objection’ from their end in order to protect operators from the data protection act which does not fall under CAD’s authority
  • Manned Aviation shall have priority over any drone operation.
  • Rules of the Air shall also apply with other drones in the vicinity as potentially more than one drone operator may be operating in the same area at the same time.
  • A submitted self-declaration or a permit of operation issued by this Authority with the pre-set written conditions are without prejudice to all other applicable laws and regulations and compliance.