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MALTEX 2018: National oil pollution response exercise
2nd October 2018
organised by Transport Malta in collaboration with EMSA

MALTEX 2018, a national oil pollution response simulation exercise, organised by Transport Malta in collaboration with EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency), was held on 2nd and 3rd October. This exercise brought together various entities, both national and international. In particular, it served to showcase the support that the Physical Oceanography Research Group of the University of Malta offers to oil spill response using HF radar observations and numerical models.

MALTEX 2018 saw the deployment of the Current Buster® for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea. This innovative equipment was made available to Transport Malta by EMSA through its assistance service arrangement. The newly set-up Emergency Control Centre at Transport Malta's Port Operation Centre was used as the coordination centre for the operations.

The CALYPSO South project will invest 1.5 million Euro to deliver an extension of the current CALYPSO HF radar cluster from four to seven units leading to an extended spatial coverage including the southern approaches to the Maltese Islands, and is committed to improve the quality and consistency in space and time of the data flows to the many users already relying on the system.

Additional numerical models are already being developed to forecast hydrodynamical fields and waves with high resolution with a reach in the Maltese and Sicilian coastal areas. This will impact the services offered to national stakeholders like Transport Malta, Civil Protection Department and Armed Forces of Malta in Malta, and Civil Protection Department and Guardia Costiera in Sicily, especially for oil spill response and for search and rescue operations.

Control Room at Transport Malta premises during Maltex 2018
The Emergency Control Centre from where operations were coordinated during MALTEX 2018.