The latest in a series of visits made by Hon. Owen Bonnici, Malta’s Minister for Research, Innovation and post-COVID-19 Strategy, paid on Wednesday 19 May 2021, was to the University of Malta’s Institute of Aerospace Technologies (IAT), where two revolutionary projects worth €400,000 are currently being undertaken.
These two projects, being jointly led by IAT and QuAero Ltd, and which Minister Bonnici got a closer look at, are 'TOUCH-FLIGHT' and 'SmartAP'.
TOUCH-FLIGHT is a patented concept allowing pilots to control their aircraft through a single touch-screen device and by voice command, thereby making for easier control of the aircraft's systems.
SmartAP builds upon TOUCH-FLIGHT, and will introduce changes in the way pilots currently control aircraft as well as their operational safety. It uses artificial intelligence to assist pilots in decision-making throughout the duration of their flight.
The work on these two projects follows on previous international cutting-edge research within the EU Frameworks Programmes. The University of Malta has been involved with European Industrial Primes such as Thales, Alenia and Airbus for more than 15 years. Through the Fusion programme, Maltese innovation is leading to the development of technologies of contemporary value and interest to global aviation.
Minister Bonnici explained how the Institute plays a crucial role in the field of aerospace technology and has already worked on various successful projects under the guidance of main investigator, Prof. Ing. David Zammit Mangion.
QuAero Ltd is a private company that conducts research while providing technical services in commercial aviation.
"Seeing such fruitful collaboration between the private industry and the academic world gives me great satisfaction", continued the Minister.
SMARTAP (R&I-2018-010-T) and TOUCH-FLIGHT (R&I-2012-065) are financed by the Malta Council for Science & Technology, for and on behalf of the Foundation for Science and Technology, through the FUSION: R&I Technology Development Programme.