Lack of Airfield services exposure – Readers Letter

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Local & Gozo administration should take Aviation seriously - Readers LetterIts time the present Local and Gozo administration took Maltese General Aviation seriously, which is the foundation leading to a real aviation career in line with increase in demand for aircraft mechanics!! Lack of airfield services exposure!!

Short comings and progress in Maltese General Aviation based at MIA:

1. Lack of reliable timed services at MIA particularly when refuelling, as only one supplier on the field exists and is still charging excise duty tax on top of VAT, not withstanding an EU Directive since 2004 which abolished it completely, particularly for aerial work!

2. Airfield ramp Fixed Based Operator facilities are non existent for visiting General Aviation Aircraft, one has to wait on the park for a handler to drive them to the far away terminal. Gozo can specialise in this niche service!

3. Once upon a time a flight line Avgas type fuel pump that can hold 80,000 litres was installed, however it is still unusable after more then 6 years of completion? The only one in use is a 40 year old mobile tanker that is operated by 3 people!

4. A dramatic increase in flight training from the 3 locally based schools, local flights at MIA would naturally spill over to the Gozo airstrip, apart from the rapid air commuting it will provide, like the seaplane & helicopter which currently enjoy sole excess to the Island.

5. Gozo airstrip will help ease some of the strain from MIA scheduled air traffic, thus decreasing possibilities of runway incursions, airborne holding delays etc…

6. A secondary airstrip if added, would have an added safety margin for General Aviation operating within the islands or flying across the open sea, as the Gozo Heliport Civil protection are already based over there!

Capt.Victor G.Mercieca

Proposed General Aviation Airstrip photograph produced by www.airphoto.com.mt

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    14 Responses

    1. James A. Tyrrell says:

      Captain Mercieca, if you or any other pilot has a problem with the way things are run at MIA then deal with it at MIA, rather than try and move the problem to Gozo.

      Gozo is a small island, which gets most of its tourist trade from people who appreciate the peace and quiet. This is something which yourself and others who propose an airstrip on the island try to brush under the carpet.

      The last thing I as a tourist want is to have to listen to planes taking off and landing all day and I can assure you that if you people ever get your way I along with many others will be looking for another holiday destination.

      I spent two lovely weeks on Gozo in October, two weeks that were only spoiled by people in light aircraft buzzing around in the sky like demented hornets! Malta has already been severely damaged by unnecessary development. Hopefully for the future of Gozo the same thing can be prevented from happening there.

    2. Lesley Kreupl says:

      I have not met or spoken to a single Gozitan, tourist, or expat who is in favour of an airfield. The opinion poll being run in this paper does not say much as only a fraction of the inhabitants of Gozo have participated. The majority of poll participants are most likely business people and pilots, i.e. people who will personally or financially benefit from an airstrip.

      One of the worst things that could happen to this island would be to have an airfield that could be used by flying schools and private craft. The island is noisy enough already, so the last thing that it needs is to be continually exposed to the ‘useless’ noise of learner pilots taking off and landing!
      There has been a horrible little plane buzzing around
      the island for the last few weeks and it has been irritating beyond belief, not only disturbing the peace, but infringing on our privacy as well.

    3. very young gozitan says:

      I would like to state that the airfield idea is excellent and beneficial, and all it’s economic and uses are all realistic and useful. However, many farmers own land there. They invested/spent money on the land to help themselves to get agricultural products, they bought tools, tractor, water supply, agricultural soil, seeds, friut trees, and many other things. They use this land to help them finacially and as hobby to distract them from life problems…etc.

      My question is this why cant we change the location?
      A location that effects the fewest people possible?
      A location that is isolated or not efficent enough?
      Another question would be in the past at this very site a smaller airstrip was presented than this one, why the change has occurred and what factors influenced it????
      Another question is why does this airstrip has to be set near the helicopter strip, as if the proposed airstrip can counterpart the helicopter’s failure?
      All i am saying is why for a small some of peoples interests, these interests have to abide others?

      Can we not find a middle ground…….

    4. Franco J Scicluna says:

      Dear Young Gozitan, as far as I know, the proposed air strip would incorporate the present road that goes along that area as far as Ghajnsielem. A parallel road would be constructed on Government land. Little if ever private land would be added. Most of that area is being used to dump rubbish.

      Since the infrastructure is already there, most important being the quarters of the fire brigade, it does make a lot of sense to have the airstrip near the present terminal that used to be the heliport.

      One should also note that once an aircraft takes off from there it will be over the sea in less than three minutes.

    5. James A. Tyrrell says:

      @Franco J Scicluna. There is no support for an airstrip on Gozo. The ordinary person would not be able to afford to use it. The ordinary Gozitan going to work in Malta or the student going to study would not be using it as it would be out of their financial reach, plus the normal worker would have to rely on public transport once they reach Malta. God help them!

      People come to Gozo for the peace and quiet not to listen to planes swarming around all day. People with big ideas have already destroyed Malta. Leave Gozo alone.

    6. Very young gozitan says:

      Dear Franco J Scicluna,

      If you can see clearly, you will see on the little map provided that the airstrip is not set on the road. IT IS SET ON THE FARMERS LAND. And no land there is being used to dump rubbish, trust me I now that place inside out outside in and whatever metaphor one can use.

      I agree that there should be an airstrip but if you are reasonable enough ask them to put it in your mother’s field/land what else is there to lose for you. If you are a real Gozitan true to your land you should again reason that GOZO’s unique characteristic is quietness, peace, serenity.

      I personally used to hate the noise that comes from the helicopter that used to wake me every time at night and ruin my sleep time. And now you want to add more noise and pollution. I think you live as Maltese say “wara il muntanji” al kwiet.

      Leave us in peace, we are happy the way we are…………..

      Peace with you.

    7. True Gozitan says:

      I agree with the young Gozitan. That is the only peaceful area that Ghajnsielem has, we are living in Ghajnsielem full of pollution very busy with traffic coming and going to Malta, thats the only place we have to go for a walk in the fields.

      Not to many people saw the plant of the airstrip but believe me when they do they will be very angry and we have all the right to be and I want to ask the Mepa are they happy that the plan came in a field full of carob trees?

      Do they let them take off carob trees I hope not, and sorry Mr Scicluna , where you from you don’t know the area very well ,the area is very nice and peaceful, please leave it that way

      I am an immigrant and I don’t find it hard to come to Gozo, actually I enjoy it, the Gozo Channel have a good service. All the Gozitans they will be angry and upset if this will happen, I’ll pray to God it won’t.

      A true Gozitan

    8. Phil says:

      The children of Xewkija and Ghajnsielem share the worst asthma rates in Gozo, largely due to the carbon monoxide pollution from vehicle exhaust fumes.
      A medium sized aircraft (20 – 30 seater) spews out upto 40 times the amount (by weight) of Carbon Monoxide and Cyanide than an average car does. Most of this is during ‘take off’.
      Are the elite few who will be able to use the new airstrip entirely comfortable with condemning future generations to respiratory problems and ill health. Is anything worth that?

      Noise pollution, enviromental damage, nuisance, disturbance, ruination of peace and quiet and obliteration of rare insects and wild life are THE facts surrounding any airport. Gozo cannot be any different.

      I do not subscribe to the logic of the people who argue that “because Luqa has capacity problems, let’s spoil Gozo”
      Indeed if the problem is at Luqa, then do what the English did at Heathrow….upgrade it.

      The wishes of an elite, affluent few cannot, in any democracy of worth, go before the wishes of thousands. If we do, we slide rapidly down towards a corrupt Dictatorship.

      The MEPA folks really do need to realise that on just a few occasions in life, simply retaining something beautiful, peaceful and relaxing is the very best form of development.

    9. Tony Stivala says:

      While I agree with all of you who wrote here, because after all I would not like it if it was built near my house.

      But I am sure you all agree with me that a better Gozo channel service is required, specially at night time.

      Either have a (smaller passenger ferry only) travelling during the night. or else, for goodness sake, Gozo Channel please talk to MIA and fit the timetable of the late ferry according to the last airplane arrivals. It is infuriating to arrive with the late airplane i.e. from London and then race with a taxi towards Cirkewwa, ony to see the ramp going up. Then another two and half hour wait for the next ferry.

    10. Phil says:

      Tony Stivala….That’s a very good point. Perhaps Gozo channel could liase with MIA and provide dedicated transport for any Ferry customers arriving in the early hours. An all inclusive fare could be quoted and a small mini bus would normally be sufficient, perhaps even a car would suffice on some occasions.
      Arrival at Cirkewwa could then be synchronised with the Ferry departure.

    11. Carmel says:

      Gozonews Airstrip poll from 711 votes only 36% are against the airstrip.

    12. Lesley Kreupl says:

      @ Mr. Stivala
      I assume, as a businessman, or even just a holidaymaker, you know about schedules? If you live in Gozo, you must surely be aware of the ferry schedule and can plan your overseas trips accordingly?
      For example, if I miss the last train from Munich to Salzburg, that is bad planning on my part, not on the part of the German or Austrian Railway services!
      If something really needs to be done, it is to improve the facilities at the terminal(slum?) in Cirkewwa, so that at least one can wait in comfort.
      @Carmel
      Statisitics, or in this case an online poll, are only of value if you know something about those that participate.

      Once again, please don’t even think of an airport on Gozo!!

    13. James A. Tyrrell says:

      Carmel, the poll you refer to attracted a total of just 403 votes in favour of this airstrip idea. The population of Gozo is in the region of 31,000.

    14. Tony Stivala says:

      LesleyKreupl

      Like you I am a retired foreigner living in Gozo, but unlike you I am not so rich to be able to afford a day flight. Do not talk to me about schedules, that was my job on the London Underground, and believe me they do go wrong as well.

      So before being so rude and arrogant read what I wrote. The schedule can be adjusted to accomodate us poor people that cannot afford a day flight. Besides the cirkewwa terminal is often with foreign people sleeping on the benches and floors waiting for the next ferry because they missed the 01.45 through no fault of their own

      My word!!!!! I certainly won’t look for you if I need sympathy

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