MATS – Malta Air Traffic Services Ltd is the Air Navigation Service Provider for Malta. MATS provides a variety of services primarily aimed at ensuring that aircraft flying in the Malta Flight Information Region (FIR) are safely separated in accordance with international civil aviation regulations. The task of ensuring safe operations of commercial and private aircraft falls on air traffic controllers. They must coordinate the movements of thousands of aircraft, keep them at safe distances from each other, direct them during takeoff and landing from airports, direct them around bad weather and ensure that traffic flows safely, smoothly and with minimal delays.
The Area Control Centre provides air traffic services for all traffic transiting through the Malta FIR; this traffic consists of:
- En route traffic, i.e. traffic that over-flies the Malta FIR without landing in Malta
- Traffic landing at or departing from Malta International Airport.
- Traffic landing at or departing from Lampedusa, an Italian island which lies within the Malta FIR.
The Approach Control Service provides air traffic services to aircraft approaching to or departing from Malta International Airport. The terminal approach service has the responsibility to guide arriving aircraft to a visual or instrument approach for a safe landing and to provide guidance to aircraft departing from Malta towards their destination. Departing aircraft are also separated from approaching aircraft until they are cleared to join their respective routes.
The Aerodrome Control Service is responsible for providing air traffic services to aircraft in the airspace around the Airport and on the ground.