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NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 8 MAY 2022 5 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 But it remains unclear wheth- er this provision will be manda- tory. The report does not con- sider the impact of the airstrip and the use of such al-electric aircraft on the national grid, which in turn relies on gas and non-renewable energy import- ed through the interconnector. Moreover, although the tech- nology for the electrification this sector is evolving at a fast rate, most aircraft in the mar- ket are still jet-fuelled. Present- ly an estimated 200 global com- panies are currently pursuing electric plane projects, some of which have already made short and successful test flights. Electric planes, like electric cars, rely on battery-generat- ed electricity for power, rath- er than standard liquid jet fu- el. Yet today's batteries aren't nearly as energy-dense as jet fuel, requiring bulk and weight that pose significant aerody- namic challenges. But the tech- nology is more ideal for short take-off and landing (STOL) planes like the 9 to 11 passen- ger-seat planes required for the Gozo airstrip. Israel's Eviation has developed a nine-seat elec- tric plane called Alice, which is set to start flying next year. The impact assessment in- cludes a calculation comparing carbon emissions from aircraft, to the amount that would be saved from the roads. The fu- el emissions from aviation and the saved carbon emissions from road transport were com- pared as part of the economic analysis. Considering a total of 242,303 litres of fuel consumption per year emanating from the air- link service between Malta and Gozo, and a carbon-equivalent content (for the type of fuel used by piston-engine island- er aircrafts) of 3.1kg per litre of fuel and a price of €35 per tonne of carbon dioxide, the external cost of emissions from inter-island air transport ser- vice is estimated at €26,290 per annum. The equivalent of carbon emissions from car trips from Malta International Airport to Cirkewwa and from Mgarr Harbour to the Gozo Heliport is estimated at 104,675 litres of fuel, which is valued at €8,793 per annum. By comparing the value of saved fuel emissions from the road to the emissions generat- ed by the STOL aircraft pro- viding the air transport service, "it is clear that there would be a resultant net increase in car- bon emissions," the study con- cludes. Gozo air-link emissions major concern

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