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Malta: Hibernian stadium to serve as drone test site and place country on “drone aviation map”

By Chris Stonor

The Hibernian football ground in Kordin, Paola (not Scotland BUT Malta) is to be employed as a base for trialling drones after the Maltese government has decided to venture into this expanding industry, reports maltatoday.com.mt.

The Stadium will be used to test and fly drones under the terms of a site access agreement signed between the football club and Malta Enterprise, which has been approved for drone operations by Transport Malta’s Civil Aviation Directorate.

Anthony David Gatt, from Malta Enterprise, emphasises, “Drone use will be founded on three overarching principles: the safety of citizens, non-exclusivity and operations that are in full respect of Malta’s neutrality policy, given its potential for military use.”

A new certification system will allow verified academies to train UAV pilots. Roger Archer, the COO for Hawk Aerospace, was first to receive one.

Roger Archer

He says, “Setting up a drone centre in Malta is a natural step for the development of the industry. If we all work together towards common objectives I’m sure we’ll put Malta on the map for drone aviation.”

Enterprise Minister, Miriam Dalli, points out the agreement is a clear sign of how Malta is diversifying its economy. “We are looking to the future where we have two Ministries working together to foster this niche.”

Transport Minister Ian Borg pointed out that over 1,000 drones had been registered with Transport Malta through the online drone portal set up last November. He adds, “The regulator is crucial – we need to look at aviation as another transport sector.”

The Hibernians football ground was inaugurated on November 9th, 1986. Hibernians became the first Maltese club to have their own football pitch.

Hibernians played their first European match at this ground on July 23rd, 1996 when they played against Uralmash Yekaterinburg in the Intertoto Cup, losing the match 2–1.

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(News Source: https://www.maltatoday.com.mt)

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