The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Air Traffic Control tower decontamination will cause disruptions for 80 minutes on 4 days

Kevin Schembri Orland Wednesday, 8 April 2020, 10:13 Last update: about 3 months ago

For a maximum of 80 minutes on four days during the month of April the Air Traffic Control Tower at the Malta Indetnational Airport will be subject to decontamination measures.

The COVID-19 pandemic that hit Malta has already shut down all commercial flights in and out of the country, however some repatriation flights are still operating, as are cargo flights.

In a notice to airmen seen by this newsroom, it is said that on 8 April, 15 April, 22 April and 29 April, between 7pm and 8.20pm, the air traffic control room will not be available for arrivals and departures. It reads that Luqa airport will be, during these times, unavailable for inflight emergencies, that flights in visual flight routes will be suspended and that Luqa CTR (radar control) and Luqa ATZ (air traffic zone) will be downgraded to class G airspace (uncontrolled).


"National state aircraft on operational missions and civilian medical evacuation flights are allowed to operate in Maltese airspace as required, however these flights will land and take off at the discretion of the pilots." Flight information services and limited alerting services (emergencies) will be monitored albeit on a reduced capacity, the notice read.

Malta Air Traffic Services was asked what would happen if there needs to be an emergency landing or something of the sort during those times. "The aerodrome will not be closed during this period and air traffic controllers will still be able to guide the aircraft to the landing phase of descent through radar control. The last phase of landing will be uncontrolled and the pilot will land the aircraft at his/her own discretion. All navigational aids will still be available as well as the Rescue and Fire Fighting Service."

Asked whether these measures will be extended past April, they said: "An assessment will be conducted towards the end of April to determine whether this process needs to be extended into the following weeks."


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