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Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport

Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci di Fiumicino) , also commonly known as Fiumicino Airport, it is Italy's largest airport with 35,226,351 passengers served in 2008, located in Fiumicino, 35 km from Rome's historic city centre.

It was the world's 21st busiest airport by passenger traffic in 2009, and the hub for Alitalia.

The airport is named after Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci, who first designed a proto helicopter and a flying machine with wings.


The airport was officially opened on January 15, 1961, with two runways, replacing the small Rome Ciampino Airport which remains in service for domestic and charter operations. During the decade Alitalia invested heavily in the new airport, building hangars and maintenance centers; in the same period a third runway was added (16L/34R).

Four runways presently operate at Leonardo da Vinci airport: 16L/34R and 16R/34L (separated by a distance of 4,000 metres), 16C/34C (close to 16L/34R), mostly used as a taxiway or as a backup of 16L/34R, and 07/25, used only westwards for takeoffs due to dominant winds.

Since 2005 the airport operates a category III B instrument landing system (ILS). Further improvement work was implemented in 2007 to enable the airport to handle 30 takeoffs/landings, up from 10, in the event of thick fog.

The terminal areas were upgraded during the 1990s:

*1991: Opening of the domestic pier with 12 loading bridges (Pier A);
*1995: Opening of the international pier with 10 loading bridges (Pier B);
*1999: Opening of the west satellite with 11 loading bridges (satellite C) and sky-bridge train connecting it with the main terminal;
*2000: Opening of the new domestic terminal (terminal A). Reorganization of terminal buildings, now comprising of: terminal A (and pier A), terminal AA, terminal B (and pier B), terminal C (and west satellite);
*2004: Opening of new cargo terminal called Cargo City;
*2008: Opening of terminal 5 for check-in of American carrier flights (passengers are then bussed to the Main terminal building); serves 950,000 passengers per year. Extended work to build new pier C.

The next commitments will be the following:
* completion of environment-friendly cogeneration system allowing the airport to self-produce energy (end 2008);
* finalisation of a second Baggage Handling System (BHS) by 2009;
* the new pier C (dedicated to international flights) with 16 additional loading bridges, to be completed by 2010 to enable handling the expected growth from present-day 38 million passengers per year to 55 million by 2018.

Terminals, airlines and destinations

Ground handling

Ground handling services have been provided by Aeroporti di Roma up to 1999 when it created Aeroporti di Roma Handling (to serve all airlines apart from Alitalia, which continued being handled by Aeroporti di Roma itself). Alitalia provided passenger assistance even before 1999. In 2001 Alitalia created Alitalia Airport and started providing self-handling and third party handling. Air One created EAS and started providing third-party services too. Aeroporti di Roma Handling remains the biggest handler in terms of airlines handled but Alitalia Airport is the biggest handler in terms of airplanes handled as Alitalia aircraft account for 50% of the ones in Fiumicino. There are some private handlers that provide passenger assistance alone: ARE Group, Globeground Italia and ICTS Italia.

On 2 May 2006 Meridiana's passenger handling staff transferred to Alitalia Airport and the ramp transferred to Alitalia Airport in February 2007 (from Aeroporti di Roma Handling).

The ground handling deregulation has brought confusion on who does what and has decreased service levels especially on transferring baggage.

In May 2006 Italy's Civil Aviation Authority announced that it took off the limitation of 3 ramp handlers in Rome Leonardo da Vinci airport. ARE Group and Aviapartner announced that they would create a company called Aviapartner (51% Aviapartner; 49% ARE Group) to serve Milan Malpensa and Rome Leonardo da Vinci. There are fears that luggage mishandling will go up.

In November 2006 Aeroporti di Roma Handling was sold to Flightcare (itself owned by Spanish company FCC), an Aviance member.

Security services

Security Services transferred from the Polizia di Stato to Aeroporti di Roma in 2000. Aeroporti di Roma created Airport Security (100%-owned) to provide these services as well as security services to airlines (in competition with other security companies such as IVRI). Airport Security is supervised by Polizia di Stato (Italian State Police), Guardia di Finanza (Italian Customs Police), Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile (Italy's Civil Aviation Authority) and Aeroporti di Roma.

Ground transportation

Leonardo da Vinci is about 35 kilometres (22 miles) by car from Rome's historic city centre. The airport is well served by the 6-lane motorway A91 Roma-Fiumicino and numerous buses and taxis.

The airport is served by the Leonardo Express train operated by Trenitalia, available at the airport terminal. The trip takes 30 minutes (no stops) to Termini Station in Rome - there are two such connections per hour. Alternatively, local trains leave once every 15 minutes, stopping at all stations. Passengers may have to change at Trastevere, Ostiense (Metro Piramide) or Tuscolana.

Incidents and accidents

From the 1960s until the 1980s, the airport experienced significant aircraft hijackings as well as became the scene of two major terrorist attacks and the port of origin for an aircraft bombing in flight—all engendered by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

*On 23 November 1964 TWA Flight 800 (1964) engine curt fire on take off the fire destroyed the Boeing 707 killing 50 out of 73 passengers and crew on bored.

*On 17 December 1973 Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) Flight 110 was attacked by Palestinian terrorists. 30 passengers were killed when phosphorus bombs were thrown aboard the aircraft as it was preparing for departure.

*On 29 January 1974 Meld Meir, Mossad director was nearly assassinated by the Black September Organisation but was foiled at the last minute when the Mossad agents foiled the attempt.

*On 27 December 1985 during the Rome and Vienna airport attacks terrorists shot and killed 16 people and wounded 99 other at the airport.

*On 2 April 1986, Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 840, which was travelling from Fiumicino to Ellinikon International Airport in Athens, Greece, was bombed, ejecting 4 people out of the plane to their deaths. The plane landed safely.

*On 17 October 1988, Uganda Airlines flight 775, en route from London Gatwick Airport to Rome then Entebbe International Airport, crashed short of the runway after two missed approaches. 26 of 45 aboard and all 7 crew members died.

*7 September 2005 - Ryanair is under investigation by ANSV, the Italian air accident investigation agency, for an attempted bad weather approach. During an unstabilised approach, the non-flying co-pilot had to intervene to initiate a late go-around, then the crew decided to divert to Pescara.

Source: Wikipedia