The MAviO Select Committee chaired by the amiable Riccardo Flask had quite an onerous task sifting through the tens of votes casted for the three coveted MAviO awards. Air Malta First Officer Trevor Zammit was awarded the Aviator of the Year Award. As a Flight Examiner and MEP Instructor Trevor distinguished himself in November 2021, when he landed a stricken Piper Seneca that had an undercarriage problem at Luqa, causing minimal damage to the aircraft and no injuries to occupants on board. Unfortunately, F/O Zammit could not be with us on the day due to work commitments abroad. His wife Claire Zammit Xuereb collected the award on his behalf.
The Leader of the Year Award went to the first woman to ever win a MAviO Award – Rachel Grech. As Head of Personnel Licensing within the Civil Aviation Directorate, Rachel came in for a lot of praise from a number of pilots whom she tirelessly helped to convert their UK licence to a TM-CAD one as a result of Brexit. Over the years, Rachel has built an enviable reputation as an unflustered and determined leader who has set new benchmarks in terms of efficiency within TM-CAD.
Lt Col Joseph Smith was the recipient of the Enemed MAviO Lifetime Achievement Award. In more than 25 years flying military helicopters, Lt Col Smith distinguished himself as a very capable pilot being involved in some of the most daring rescue operations to ever take place on the island. Lt Col J Smith flew six different types of military helicopters including the venerable Bell 47G-2, the Jet Ranger III and the AB212. He was also heavily involved in both the Libyan and subsequently the Italian millitary missions in Malta.