Photo: Mario Caruna
MAviO Award winner Nigel J Dunkerley has recently been promoted to the left hand seat at Malta Air. Nigel is a familiar face for many, having been a flight instructor, head of training and flight examiner since the 1990s. For many years, he was Malta’s most experienced flight instructor and a reference point for those starting in the industry, having held the post on a full-time basis for 9 solid years.
His above average qualities, did not go unnoticed and he was head hunted by the Maltese aviation regulator, the freshly created Transport Malta – Civil Aviation Directorate where he was appointed as Malta’s first general aviation flight inspector and senior flight examiner in charge of auditing all locally approved organisations including the national airline. He eventually became team leader auditor for the authority for training organisations and licensing matters.
Nigel was eventually seconded to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), where he assisted the European body in safety oversight visits during standardization inspections overseeing all other National Aviation Authorities. Once the instructional world and regulatory worlds were complete, Nigel had one more “bucket list” to complete, to join a reputable airline and climb the ranks there. He joined Ryanair in 2018 as a cadet pilot keeping his head down and his experience under wraps and transferred when Malta Air opened in summer of 2019.
When COVID hit, his experience was made aware to the Group as was soon approached to join the head office as a team member to assist the flight operations and flight training team get through COVID with regulatory exemptions and at the same time assist with the integration of the Boeing 737-8200 into its fleet.
After a nearly 2 year hiatus, where he was confined to the head office, Nigel returned back to the flight line. Just a few weeks ago he was promoted to captain, flying both the 737NG as well as the 737-8200 “Gamechanger”.