The Ministry for Gozo, through the Gozo Regional Development Authority, has launched a public consultation process in relation to the proposed Gozo Rural Airfield project in Xewkija.
Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri stated that during the previous legislature, the issue of connectivity was high on the national agenda, in fact a fourth ferry was added to the Gozo Channel fleet, while there was also the introduction of the fast ferry service between Imġarr and Valletta. Camilleri also stated that digital connectivity was strengthened with the second fiber optic cable.
“We are now looking at other modes of transport and that is why today we are launching a consultation process on the proposed Rural Airfield for Gozo” stated Minister Clint Camilleri. He stated that the proposed project will be carried out with full respect to the island’s environment so that the impact will be minimal. “We are proposing that the airstrip is extended to a maximum length of 450 metres, thus ensuring that it is used only by small aircraft. The aprons will be made up of reinforced grass with full respect to the environment” Minister Camilleri said.
The Minister for Gozo stressed that no additional land will be taken and that this project will take place in an area which was used as a construction landfill in the past. The proposed airfield will be located in an area designated for airfield-related activities by the Authorities, as per approved local plans.
Minister Camilleri stated that with such investments, the Government is envisaging to create new economic niches in Gozo so that the island’s economy is diversified while creating high end and sustainable jobs.
Mr Mario Borg, Gozo Regional Development Authority’s CEO, said that the Authority will play a central role in this project as it will be conducting a public consultation as part of the Regional Impact Assessment process. Through this process, the Authority will be in a position to determine whether this project, as proposed, will contribute towards Gozo’s socio-economic development, while respecting the natural environment.
The CEO stressed that the Authority will be presenting all the studies related to this project, which are available online on grda.mt, so that the public can formulate an opinion, based on independent assessments. Mario Borg said that the Authority will be organizing 2 public meetings, on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th May 2022 to explain the project in detail and seek feedback on the proposed Gozo Rural Airfield.
The public consultation process will come to an end on Friday 27th May 2022. More information on the project, public consultation meetings and how to contribute towards this process, one can visit the website: grda.mt.