The Malta Independent 17 May 2022, Tuesday

450m runway to be built in Xewkija as government reveals Gozo airfield plans

Friday, 6 May 2022, 17:00 Last update: about 10 days ago

Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri has revealed the government’s plans for an extension to the Xewkija helipad with a 450m runway for small aircraft.

Speaking in a press conference, Camilleri said that a public consultation regarding the plans for the Gozo airfield has been launched for the public’s views.

Camilleri said that no agricultural land will be used to extend the runway. He pledged that the project will be limited to areas already in the development zone, in zones directly tied to the heliport. Camilleri said that the land marked is even less than what is allowed according to local plans.

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He added that the project will improve connectivity to Gozo, along with the new vessel to the Gozo channel fleet and the fast ferry service between Malta and Gozo.

The runway will be long enough to accommodate an aircraft which can carry 11 passengers, he said.

The government seeks to operate the airfield through public-private partnerships, Camilleri said, adding that the airport will not operate international flights. The investment will, however, attract new business to Gozo, he said.

Among these businesses include flying schools, pilot training academies and those who want to test out industrial drones in the area, Camilleri said.

Gozo Research and Development Authority CEO Mario Borg said that the public consultation process will be hosted by the authority itself.

Information about the project and impact assessments carried out are publicly available on the website www.grda.mt

The public consultation is to begin today and will conclude on May 27. Submissions by the public can be sent to [email protected]

Two public consultation meetings will be held on May 19 in English and on May 20 in Maltese, between 5pm and 7pm at the Gozo Innovation Hub in Xewkija.

The public is invited to book a place for these events by sending an email to [email protected]

Malta has previously had a helicopter link between the two islands provided by an Air Malta subsidiary, Malta Air Charter. This was discontinued due to profit loss.

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