|The air X Malta International Airshow September 28-29, 2014
|Location: Park 4, Malta International Airport
|Admission :Adults: Saturday: €13 / Sunday: €15 , Children Under 14 Free. A 4-Day Pack Ticket was also available for €90
|Rating out of 10: 9
Italian Military Mission helicopter Augusta Bell 212 helicopter
The 22nd Malta International Airshow organized by the Malta Aviation Society was held on the 28/29th September 2013. For the second year running, the airshow was sponsored by airX, an international aviation company based in Malta. The weather was not as one would expect with grey skies for most times – especially during the early afternoon flying displays. Late cancellations by the Turkish Stars, Qatari Air Force Hercules 130 and the Belgian Air Force display F16 did not mar the airshow which was yet again superbly organized.
This year’s arrivals began on Thursday 26 th and as in previous editions of the airshow, the MAS volunteers and pass holders were taken to the Runway 31 threshold to view and capture the arrivals. The gates were open from 10.00 am to 5.30pm on both days. Attendance was one of the highest in recent years so much so that additional free parking places outside the airport perimeter was allocated for Sunday and all these were managed very efficiently by the younger volunteers from the Malta Aviation Society. Despite the cancellations mentioned above, the organizers had secured three display teams which surely spiced up the public’s interest as well as that of foreign media and aviation enthusiasts from Europe. This year, an official Press area was available thus enabling the media to capture all the action from the taxiing line. Spectators were as usual in a very strategic place close to where the taxiing aircraft and flight display took place thus being able to capture all the action without difficulty.
Though Medical and Rescue crews were present, luckily their intervention was not required. Restroom facilities were predominant and clean. A large refreshment and food stall with reasonable prices was available with separate queuing for air crews / airshow volunteers and spectators. Other smaller stalls and a children’s play area were set up around Park 4. The Official Airshow Merchandise shops were kept busy on both days with the glossy 84 page Malta International Air show 2014 Souvenir Program selling fast at €3. Most merchandise was sold by the end of the airshow.
Local flying schools were kept busy with young students enquiring about the various pilot, cabin crew and other courses being offered. The Italian Military mission were also present with their own stands selling Army memorabilia and showing their aircraft to the public present. The Armed Forces of Malta’s newest helicopter, the Augusta AW139 was in the static display for the first time and the interest generated by the public was great.
To make up for the cancellations, the organizers managed to secure the Egypt Air Force K8 Support aircraft – the Hercules C-130H for the static display on both days whilst on Sunday morning the public was given an extra and unexpected treat when an Israel Air Force Gulfstream G550 arrived and performed a few touch and goes on Runway 05/23 enabling the public present at Park 4 to enjoy and snap photos of this unusual aircraft.Contrary to the previous year, no sightseeing flights taking off from the airshow site were organized.
The Polish An-28, the Bryza, a Maritime Patrol reconnaissance variant made a re- appearance at the airshow whilst two P-3C Orion aircraft – one from the German navy and the other from the US Navy were present with their very hospitable crews. Another notable participant was that of the Italian Coastguard with their traditional white and red Augusta AW139 helicopter.
The highlights of the air display were the Swiss Air Force F-18 Hornet piloted by “Teddy” Meister Julien Staffel who regaled the public present with two spectacular displays on Saturday and Sunday with such a magnificent aircraft. The Czech Air Force display with their Alca L-159 aircraft was also a winner with the public as well as that by the RAF Tucano with its special colours.
The highlight of the Airshow on Sunday was the fly past by an Airmalta Airbus A320-214 registration 9H-AEQ, together with the Red Arrows emitting the red and white smoke – a symbol of the Maltese flag colours, to commemorate Airmalta’s 40 th Anniversary and the Red Arrows 50 th Anniversary a week after Malta celebrated its 50 th Independence Anniversary. The fly past was followed by a breath-taking aerobatic flying display by the Reds to conclude this year’s airshow.
|After the airshow, Chairman of the Malta Aviation Society, Joe Ciliberti said that the committee and volunteers were happy with the outcome of this year’s airshow despite the late cancellations and said that work has already commenced for the 2015 Airshow which is being held on the 26th and 27th September 2015, an airshow which he hopes will see an even bigger aircraft participation.
|Air show performers:
|Airmalta A320-214 reg no 9H-AEQ (Sunday only)
|Armed Forces of Malta Alouette 316B helicopter reg no AS9211
|talian Military Mission helicopter Augusta Bell 212 helicopter reg no MM81212
|Red Arrows Bae Hawk T1A
|RAF Tucano reg no ZF244
|Swiss Air Force F-18C Hornet J-5015
|Frecce Tricolori MB-339 PAN
|Spanish Air Force Patrulla Aguila C-101 Aviojets
|Static display Paricipants included
|Armed Forces of Malta Alouette 316B helicopter reg no AS9212
|Armed Forces of Malta King Air 200 reg no AS1227
|Armed Forces of Malta BN2-Islander - reg no AS9819
|Armed Forces of Malta Bulldog – reg AS0022
|Armed Forces of Malta Augusta AWB139 helicopter reg no AS1428
|Italian Guardia Costiera AWB139 helicopter reg no MM81749/11-04
|Egypt Air Force Hercules C130H reg no SU-BKU 1295
|German Marine P-C3 reg no 60+06 with special markings World Champions
|Belgian Air Force Embraer ERJ 145 reg no CE-03
|Polish Navy AN-28 Bryzia 1 reg 1118
|RAF Tucano reg no ZF317
|RAF Tornado reg nos ZA462/027
|RAF Hawk reg no XX204
|RAF Hawk reg no XX256
|RAF King Air 200 reg no ZK451/K
|Sky People Tecnam P2002JF reg no 9H-SKY
Malta School of Flying Tecnam P92-JS reg no 9H-MSF Private Beechcraft V35B Bonzana reg N456T and various other aircraft from the Island Microlight Club, Diamond Aviation, and the Malta School of flying.
|Report and photography by Ray Biagio Pace for