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Could Gozo get its own airport?

An "air link" between Gozo and other regions is being considered

The government’s consultation document on Gozo says an air link would provide additional inter-island connectivity. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

The government’s consultation document on Gozo says an air link would provide additional inter-island connectivity. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

The government is looking into ways to develop an air link that would better connect Gozo with Malta, as well as directly to other regions, a public consultation document on a three-year strategy for the island shows.

“The government believes that in order to attract quality tourists and to promote Gozo as a distinct destination, there should be the possibility for Gozo to be accessed directly through an air link,” the document reads.

Launched for public consultation yesterday, the document identifies Gozo’s “double insularity and current means of accessibility” as key weaknesses it faces. The government believes an air link would provide additional inter-island connectivity as well as the possibility of connecting Gozo “directly with other regions”.

READ: Gozo tunnel project enters next phase

“The connection may also provide additional opportunities within the hospitality sector that may further boost Gozo’s tourism offering,” the document on the three-year strategy states.

No information on how this will work or which other regions are being considered is supplied in the consultation document.

So far, efforts to better link the two islands have been focused on the proposed tunnel project with a new phase of studies kicking off just last month.

READ: The mystery of Gozo Channel's 13,000 disappearing passengers

Apart from accessibility, the strategy focuses on fostering economic growth and job creation, developing Gozo’s unique identity, facilitating accessibility and promoting new services to ensure a better quality of life for the people of Gozo. Support for small and medium businesses will include encouraging them to move tow-ards e-commerce practices in an attempt to overcome the “physical constraints” of the island.

Efforts to improve working conditions for those working in Malta who frequently commute between the islands will also be stepped up, the document states.

This will include studying possible measures that would encourage Malta-based enterprises to provide flexible working arrangements for those living in Gozo but working in Malta.

The government will also be developing a marketing programme focusing on the island’s “distinct offering” and will mainly target tourists from the UK, Italy, France and Germany.

Feedback from the public on the proposals for Gozo may be submitted electronically until December 29.

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