Preparatory works for Gozo airstrip underway

Gozo Tourism Association and Gozo Business Chamber confirm that preparatory works in connection with the airstrip in Gozo have started.

Works in preparation for the Gozo airstrip have commenced, according to the Gozo Tourism Association and the Gozo Business Chamber.

The preparatory works include the clearing out of the area next to the existent airstrip at the Xewkija heliport.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the two organisations said that since their inception in 1999, they had always been in favour of an air link connecting the two islands.

The two Gozitan constituted bodies, who represent the majority of the Gozitan businesses, strongly believe that the establishment of a sustainable air service is another additional infrastructural investment.  

"Such an investment will not only offer an inter-island scheduled service for locals and tourists visiting the islands, but it will also offer the possibility of opening direct routes to Gozo from Schengen countries in the region," they said.

"The future of the tourism industry on Gozo relies more than ever on additional connectivity to reach the island. Thus the availability of an air link, will keep the Island of Gozo competitively marketable with so many emerging, destinations world wide."

They said that  Gozo, as a distinct island tourist destination, can be competitive if there are reliable, consistent, effective and cost sensitive types of connections from and to the mainland and from the outside world.

"Both the Gozo Tourism Association and the Gozo Business Chamber take this opportunity to encourage the Ministry for Gozo to continue seeking the common good in favour of our Island... Gozo."

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WHAT WONDERFUL NEWS – AT LAST! I initiated a study which has been conducted over a period of twenty years. In 1994 it was possible to fly inter-island by helicopter from a helipad alongside a stone hut. In 1996 the hut was replaced by a state of the art modern terminal and it was possible that Gozitan businessmen and residents could check-in, transfer to Malta International Airport and depart from there just 45 minutes after the Gozo check-in. Heightened security after 9-11 and rising fuel costs for helicopters caused the cessation of this fast transfer facility and has led to a downturn in commercial activity in Gozo and an enormous increase in the time taken frpom home to airport departure. The provision of a small airfield for fixed-wing aircraft able to carry up to 19 passengers each would resolve this situation. Documents consulted include: • The Construction of an Aerodrome (ICAO Annex 14 and UK CAA CAP 168) 2007 • Commercial Airport Safety Regulations EU EASA 2003 • Gozo and Comino Local Plan, August 2006-13. Malta Environment and Planning Authority • Various international and internet sources. I have also received inputs from: • Patrick Fenech, Malta Wings Ltd, potential operator, • Matt. A. Merzhauser, a German aviation specialist who has Malta connections • Synergy Aviation, a company willing to operate a service • Members of the US and Malta Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations (AOPA) • Joe Meilak at the Nadur Weather Centre, Gozo • Air transport manufacturers and operators in Europe, Africa and the West Indies • Malta flight training establishments • The Gozo Business Chamber, Gozo Tourism Association and a number of interested members of the expatriate community living in Malta and Gozo. I have nothing to gain and do not represent any organisation. I am carrying out this survey to try and dispel some incorrectly reported facts and feel qualified because of my engineering, design and aviation background. Full details of my feasibility study have been lodged with MEPA and a wide range of Government Departments in Malta and Gozo. They are available to all from my email contact which is: [email protected] Roy S. Perry: July 1996 – January 2014
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The first thing Gozitans should do is knock down that horrendously glitzy, gaudy Arrivals Terminal at Mgarr. I absolutely hate its "international airport" flavour, that completely ruins Gozo's image, and manages to set me off on the wrong foot every time I visit the isle. Imagine what effect it must have on long haul, paying tourists. What was the Queen of Gozo thinking of when she envisioned such huge, unnecessary structures? The profits resulting from sales of concrete? Or a Banana Republic's Presidential arrival scene from a docking ferry boat? Her Majesty must have been inspired by her cousins at the Bronx! That incredulous, monstrous structure is exactly the antithesis to a holiday on a quaint, idyllic, minuscule island in the Mediterranean sea and full of lazy, peaceful sun. That building should have been kept to the minimum necessary for safe, comfortable exit into Gozo.