The Xewkija helipad will be extended into a 450m runway suitable for small aircraft under plans for a Gozo airfield unveiled by the government on Friday. 

A public consultation concerning the plans has been launched, seeking to solicit the public's views about the plans.

No agricultural land will be used to extend the runway, Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri pledged as he announced the project.

Camilleri said the project aims to improve connectivity to Gozo, following the addition of a vessel to the Gozo channel fleet and the launch of the fast ferry service between the two islands.

The venture would also attract new business to Gozo, he said.

According to the plans, the runway will be long enough to accommodate aircraft that can carry up to 11 passengers. 

“The project will be limited to the areas that are already committed for development and will take place in the zones directly tied to the heliport. The land we have earmarked for development is less than what is allowed by local plans," the minister said. 

Camilleri added the government would be seeking to operate the airfield through a public-private partnership, similar to the operation of the fast ferry service.

“While this is a regional airport and will not be equipped to handle international flights, we think that the investment will attract new business to Gozo. We have already seen a lot of interest from flying schools, pilot training academies as well as those who want to test out industrial drones at the facility,” he said. 

Gozo Research and Development Authority CEO Mario Borg said that the authority would be hosting the public consultation process for the public to analyse the plan and communicate their feedback in a holistic and transparent way. 

Camilleri had first announced plans for the airstrip in parliament in November last year.

Helicopter service stalled twice due to profit loss

Between 1990 and 2004 an Air Malta subsidiary called Malta Air Charter used to provide a helicopter link between the two islands, which carried an average of 50,000 passengers a year.

However, this service was stopped as it was considered to no longer be profitable. A seaplane service operated by a Spanish company also ran between Malta and Gozo from 2007 and 2012, but this was also terminated due to profit loss. 

An overall description of the project and impact assessments that have already been carried out are available to the public on

Public consultation begins today and will conclude on May 27 and submissions by the public can be sent to 

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

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

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