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Malta's Airbases

There have been three airbases on Malta during the 20th century: Hal Far, Ta Kali and Kalafrana.

  • Kalafrana (sometimes known as Calafrana) was formed in 1917 as a seaplane station. The last recorded activity at the base was in 1946. 

  • Hal Far was officially formed as an independent airbase in 1929. It came under the complete control of the Fleet Air airm in 1946 and passed back to the RAF in 1965. 

  • Ta Kali opened as a military airbase in June 1940, it was handed over to the Maltese Government in 1963.  



In World War One a large Royal Navy fleet was maintained in the Mediterranean including the seaplane carrier HMS Ark Royal.

In addition to this seaplanes were operating from Malta itself. They operated from a new seaplane base on the Western shore of Marsa Scirocco bay at Kalafrana.

Between World War One and World War Two the Royal Navy continued to maintain a strong fleet in the Mediterranean. This was based at Malta.

A new airfield was opened at Hal Far in 1923. The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) was gaining in strength with aircraft carriers such as HMS Eagle forming part of the Mediterranean Fleet in 1930.

The new purpose built aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal visited Malta in January 1939, with a 800 foot flight deck and double hangers, she could hold over 60 aircraft.

Aircraft requiring major maintenance and re-build would be taken ashore for the work to be carried out at the airfields on Malta. 

Malta Airbases

  • Kalafrana / Calafrana

  • Ta Kali

  • Hal Far