Two Gozitan organisations issued a statement this afternoon welcoming “the commencement of the preparatory works in connection with the airstrip on Gozo”.

The Gozo Tourism Association and the Gozo Business Chamber said their position had always been in favour of an airstrip.

GBC president Michael Grech said when contacted that refurbishment works were currently being carried out at the Gozo heliport which has not been in operation for a number of years.

The two organisations said they believed that the establishment of a sustainable air service was infrastructural investment towards the connectivity between both the islands.

“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 that the future of the tourism industry on Gozo relied more than ever on additional connectivity.

“Thus the availability of an airlink will keep the Island of Gozo competitively marketable with so many emerging, destinations world-wide.

“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,” they said.

They encouraged the ministry to continue seeking the best for Gozo.

The Gozo University Group also welcomed the preparatory work on the airstrip in Gozo.

"We believe that such service is essential to the economical and social aspect of the island.

"Gozo has the potential to be a distinct destination and thus such service will strengthen the position of Gozo in the tourist market. Such airstrip will also serve to attract touristic niches towards Gozo."

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