The Paphos Chamber of Commerce (Keve) urged the government to speed up developments for the construction of a road linking Paphos airport to tourist areas, including the town centre.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Thursday, its president Georgios Mai called the construction of the coastal road connecting’ Paphos airport to the broader tourist area of Paphos, Yeroskipou and Peyia a pressing necessity.

“The project could proceed even through the invocation of reasons of public interest by the state, given that all necessary documentation supporting this position is available,” he said, further advocating for improvements to the existing road network as an alternative.

During a recent meeting with Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades, Mai said he discussed the possibility of the government commissioning an experienced environmental expert to conduct a study on the topic.

“The study would serve as additional scientific support [to the construction of the road network], suggesting the use of good practices applied in other environmentally sensitive areas in Europe and elsewhere to adequately advise the government in making a final decision,” Mai said.

He stress the importance of the views of environmental NGOs and affected municipalities, rather than relying solely on relevant government departments and services that formulate and implement state policy, said that “the environmental authority did not take into account the serious findings of a previous environmental impact assessment study, nor did it examine the area of Paphos airport as a whole, but confined itself to the access road to the airport and adopted scientifically unsubstantiated positions.”

Unfortunately, the government is offering no incentives to build a better road serving Paphos airport, nor it offers alternative solutions beyond the choice of the existing road,” Mai concluded.