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2 NEWS 26.5.2022 Malta licences first-ever cargo drone for European market DRONAMICS has become the first drone cargo airline to obtain an oper- ational licence, granted by Transport Malta's Civil Aviation Directorate (TM-CAD). The Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC) is the highest authorisation currently achievable under European drone operations and the first one is- sued in the EU for middle-mile cargo operations It allows Dronamics to self-authorise flight operations across EU countries. The announcement made during EBACE (European Business Aviation Conference Exhibition) comes at a key moment as the company prepares for the first commercial flights of its flagship Black Swan aircraft later this year. Carrying 350kg at a distance of up to 2,500km, the Black Swan aims to transform supply chains by making fulfilment more efficient, resulting in cost, time and carbon emission sav- ings. Dronamics is the first cargo drone company to secure the licence by the CAD, allowing it to self-authorise flight operations of its Black Swan air- craft across EU countries, including Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations. Dronamics plans to scale up its op- erations and run its first commercial flights out of Malta and Italy later this year. With Malta as its Europe- an operations base, Dronamics is well placed to operate its first routes over the Mediterranean, linking key hubs across the region. Transport Malta has been spear- heading the advancement of aviation innovation in Europe, as a global avi- ation hub thanks to government sup- port for the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) sector. "During the past several months, our dedicated CAD inspectors, who did the job diligently, validated our belief in new technologies and innovation within the aviation industry. Since the initial contact with Dronamics, the operational concept, the experienced and passionate team, and above all the company mission, made us believe that Dronamics will be the pioneer of a new, safe, and exciting era of the drone cargo long range operation," said Capt. Charles Pace, director of Malta's civil aviation department. "I would also like to thank the Ran- gelov Brothers and Dronamics' airline team for selecting Malta for their new LUC and we are proud to have Dro- namics as our new member of the 9H community." "Becoming the first cargo drone company to obtain LUC certification is a huge milestone for us and vali- dates years of hard work in developing our unique and market-leading solu- tion," said Dronamics chief operating officer Sergio Oliveira e Silva. "Our team has been involved in nu- merous AOCs on several continents before, and we are continuously im- pressed with the world-class profes- sionalism and expertise of Transport Malta, coupled with a pro-innovation mindset. With the support of such a sophis- ticated and technologically advanced regulator, and with Malta as our Eu- ropean operations base, we are well placed to progress our operations and start serving key routes across the Mediterranean later this year and continue our future expansion so that we can achieve our mission to ena- ble same-day delivery for everyone, everywhere." From page 1 recommendations from GRECO and from the public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. "On investigation and prosecution, additional capacity is being made available," she said, noting an ongoing reform of the Attorney General's pow- ers as well as new procedures for judg- es. The committee also welcomed in- creased efforts from the FIAU, adding that financial and economic crimes, specifically related to corruption and money-laundering, were being pros- ecuted rigorously. "We will monitor these developments closely." However, In't Veld mentioned that practical obstacles remain to media freedom and pluralism, especially with regards to access to information and non-transparent funding of me- dia outlets. She said that the com- mittee was still concerned with the use of SLAPPs, and was particularly dismayed that some people have still not dropped such cases against Daph- ne Caruana Galizia. These cases have since been inherited by her family. "It's quite disgusting that those cases have not been dropped." "Our overall message is that yes, there has been a reform process, but it lacks pace, speed, and sometimes we feel that some reforms are half-heart- ed and incomplete," she said. A full-time parliament? Not yet… In't Veld added that the commit- tee was surprised to see that Malta's parliamentary members work on a part-time basis. She said that all MPs, regardless of affiliation, should be equally equipped to scrutinise gov- ernment. "I find it difficult to imagine how you can implement reforms and process European legislation on a part-time basis with little means. In the Euro- pean Parliament we each have our own staff. It takes them a long time to process legislation, let alone for 79 part-timers." She said that various arguments had been put forward during the delega- tion's visit on whether the parliament's administration should remain as is, or if a hybrid formula should be adopted. "The response was a mixed bag, but it seems there's no appetite for such a reform right now. But it wasn't reject- ed outhand." She also raised concerns on the high debts faced by Malta's two big politi- cal parties, and said this needs to be addressed urgently. "In any political system, a party should be extremely worried if it has tens of millions of debt. You wonder to whom it has these debts. It influ- ences the course of the party. Do you still remain fully independent? We're talking about amounts that are tenfold the budget of my political party in my home country," she said. The European Parliament's civil liberties committee acknowledges Malta's reform process since 2020 The committee also welcomed increased efforts from the FIAU, adding that financial and economic crimes, specifically related to corruption and money-laundering, were being prosecuted rigorously (Photo: James Bianchi)

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