Malta IAP

Malta International Airpot (IAP), also referred as Luqa Airport (Luqa), is the only airport in the whole Maltese archipelago.  It occupies the location of the formed RAF Luqa and it was completely refurbished becoming fully operational on March 25, 1992.

IATA Code: 
ICAO Code: 
 UTC +1 (+2 DST)
 35° 51' 27.15" N
 014° 28' 38.78" E
 300 feet (91.44m) AMSL
Magnetic Variation: 
 2° 27' E (2012)

Malta IAP is operated by Malta International Airport plc (M.I.A.).  M.I.A. was registered as a company on the May 16, 1991 and commenced operations on January 1, 1992.  Initially, M.I.A. managed and operated the air terminal but was later entrusted with the responsibility of the entire airport.

On May 1, 1998, M.I.A. took over the operation and management of the airfield facilities as well as the air traffic control of Malta's Flight Information Region.  The airfield services were previously the responsibility of the Department of Civil Aviation, that has since then retained a purely regulatory role.  Air Traffic Control was again seperated from the M.I.A. central structure in 2001.  It is now an autonomous, government entity known as Malta Air Traffic Services Ltd.

In July 2002, the Government of Malta has signed an agreement with the Malta Mediterranean Link Consortium Ltd (MML) for the sale of 40% of M.I.A.  The deal was worth Lm40 million (€93.16 million).  
The Government of Malta sold a further 20% of its shares in M.I.A. by means of an Initial Public Offering in November 2002 and another 20% in November 2005.

Malta IAP has two operational runways: 05/23 and 13/31.  Only RWY 13/31 is equipped with the Instrument Landing System (ILS).  The preferential runway for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flights shall be RWY 13 or RWY 31, while the preferential runway for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) shall be RWY 05 or RWY 23.

Malta IAP has seven designated aprons for the parking of aircraft. There are aprons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9.  Apron-9 is main apron and it can accept aircraft up to Code F.

Apron charts... [VIEW]

The entity responsible for providing the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Services at Malta IAP and in Malta Flight Information Region (FIR) is Malta Air Traffic Services Ltd. (MATS).  

MATS assumed control of all air traffic and technical support services within the Malta FIR with effect from January 1, 2002, in accordance with the Air Navigation License granted by the Maltese Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).  

MATS, a fully-owned Government company, provides a variety of services aimed at ensuring that aircraft flying in the Malta FIR are safely separated in accordance with international civil aviation regulations.

The ATC Services provided by MATS are:  

- Area Control Centre (ACC)
The ACC provides air traffic services for all traffic transiting through the Malta FIR.  ACC's personnel are responsible for providing control and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flight in Malta FIR.  They are aided by seven radar stations: four are locally based (Dingli, Fawwara, Luqa and Hal Far) and three abroad (Ustica, north of Palermo, Sicily, and two radars in Greece, at Kithira and Lefkas).

- Approach Control
Aircraft arriving at and departing from Malta IAP usually do so under the guidance and control of MATS's Approach Controllers frequently aided by short range approach radars. 

The provision of radar service by approach has the objectives of: providing radar vectoring to arriving aircraft to pilot-interpreted final approach aid, provide radar vectoring to arriving aircraft to a point from which a visual approach can be completed and provide radar vectoring for the purpose of resolving potential conflicts.  

Approach is responsible for aircraft that have been released to the unit (by Tower or ACC) and flying: in the Malta Control Zone, in the Area of Gozo and in the Malta Terminal Control Area as appropriate. 

- Aerodrome Control
The main function of MATS's Aerodrome Control is to issue information and clearances to aircraft under its control, to maintain necessary clearances and to prevent collisions between: aircraft flying in the aerodrome traffic circuit around the aerodrome, aircraft operating on the manoeuvring area (runways and taxiways), VFR traffic in the sectors around Malta and Gozo, aircraft landing and taking off, aircraft and vehicles on the manoeuvring area and aircraft on the manoeuvring area and obstructions on that area.  

MATS's Aerodrome Control is manned by a two-man team, an Aerodrome Controller and an Aerodrome Coordinator.  While close co-ordination is effected between the two controllers, the Aerodrome Coordinator shall mainly be responsible for the vehicular movements on the manoeuvering area and for working parties operating on the movement area.  The Controllers' main tool is the old Eyeball.  Controllers also have a feed from the radar that helps him locate aircraft around the airfield.  The Aerodrome Controller is also responsible for alerting the Fire Section in the case of an incident or accident on the airport or in the vicinity of the airfield.

- Ground Control 
The Ground controller provides advisory and flight information service to aircraft on the ground at Luqa.  The Controller is also responsible for allocating the parking stand to arriving aircraft as well as delivering the ATC clearance to aircraft departing from Luqa. In addition, Ground controllers also act as the link between the aircraft flight crews and the airport in general.

- ATC Frequencies & Navigational Aids

DesignationCall SignFrequencyRemarks
Luqa Ground121.600 MHz121.825 MHz (back up)
Luqa Tower135.100 MHz133.900 MHz (back up)
APPLuqa Radar128.150 MHz118.350 MHz (back up)
ATISLuqa Information127.400 MHz
(1) UHF 284.500 MHZ is available for military aircraft not equipped with VHF radios.
(2) Distress frequency 121.500 MHz is monitored (H24)

Type of Aid, CAT of ILS (VAR)IDFrequencyAntenna Transmitting CoordinatesElevation Transmitting Antenna
GOZO VOR/DME (2° 27’E)GZO115.7 MHZ CH104X360214.43N
(2° 27’E)
LQ(CH 34X)355113.28N
(2° 27’E)
LM(CH 42X)355009.73N
(2° 27’E)
MLT395 KHz354855.77N
(2° 27’E)
LQ109.7 MHz355000.59N
GP 13LQ333.2 MHz355113.54N
(2° 27’E)
LM110.5 MHz355133.79N
GP 31LM329.6 MHz355010.01N
(1) LQ DME substitutes markers for ILS 13.
(2) LM DME substitutes markers for ILS 31.
(3) ILS 13 and ILS 31 are electronically interlocked and only one is available at any one time.
(4) ILS 13 and ILS 31 are regularly flight checked to CAT II standards.
Sources: Malta International Airport plc, Malta Air Traffic Services Ltd. and Civil Aviation Directorate (Transport Malta)