It is only fitting that Italy’s largest airport is named Leonardo da Vinci Airport, after the man who designed the first helicopter and flying machine in 1480. Also known as Rome Fiumicino, the airport was initially used during the 1960 Olympics to cope with the additional traffic congestion from Rome Ciampino airport. It officially started operating in 1961, and since then has undergone modernisation over the years, currently operating four runways. The airport is one of Europe’s busiest airports, serving 41.7 million passengers in 2016.
Privatisation took place in 1997 and Aeroporti di Roma controls both Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports. Aeroporti di Roma S.p.A. is controlled by Atlantia S.p.A. which owns 96.7% of the shares. The remaining share capital is owned by the local authorities and some minor shareholders.
The 2044 masterplan of Rome Fiumicino Airport aims to provide capacity for the expected increase of over 80 million passengers per annum. The plan concentrates on developing the area to the north of the existing airport and provides an additional two runways, new road and railway access, a larger passenger terminal, and an airport city and commercial development. The terminal has been designed in a figure H configuration and comprises four piers, two reserved for Schengen traffic and one for non- Schengen traffic and the other will be flexible.
This development will mean a further increase in total capacity of an additional 50 million passengers per year. When the Master Plan is completed, the overall capacity of the system will exceed 100 million passengers per year.
Piazza del Made in Italy
Visitors to airport’s new commercial offering at Leonardi da Vinci airport can experience the quintessential Italian love for fashion, art, food and wine. It is located in Pier E and has been developed at a cost of €390 million. Called the ‘Piazza del Made in Italy’, it consists of a 10,000sqm shopping mall with tenanted by major luxury fashion brands like Valentino and Bulgari. There are over 40 fashion outlets which provide luxury Italian and international brands.
Italy’s love of good food can be experienced at the airport with 3,000sqm of food stores. Shoppers can experience authentic Italian pizza at Farinella and Autogrill Bistrot. The Michelangelo Roman Bistrot offers a full-service restaurant and they stock a wide variety of prestigious wines from all the Italian regions. Heinz Beck, a star rated chef has chosen Fiumicino to open his first airport-based restaurant, which is called Attimi. Italian national cultural and artistic heritage is showcased through live shows and musical performances at the airport.
Visitors to the international boarding area E this year will be surprised to find that it has been transformed into a museum thanks to a partnership between Aeroporti di Roma and the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park. Three original statues dating back to the 2nd century A.D. and found during the 1939 excavations are on display at the airport, representing Apollo, Aphrodite and the river god of the Tiber.
Other initiatives have been implemented by Aeroporti di Roma to promote Rome and its environs and provide top-quality entertainment services to passengers and this is done through a collaboration with Ostia Antica Park. The latest initiative currently under way is “Navigare il Territorio” (Navigating the Area), a project that enables the public and passengers to visit the Imperial Ports of Claudius and Trajan free of charge. These are directly linked with the airport by means of a free shuttle service.
The architectural concept of the shopping area was created with reference to the historic and artistic heritage of the City of Rome. The design is infused with classic shapes, transparency and maximum use of natural light and large windows, providing an outdoor experience.
Rated number 1 in Europe by ACI
The ACI- Airports Council International has rated Leonardo da Vinci first out of 300 airports after surveying travellers about the quality of service that was offered to them. This award came even though the airport had to cope with increased passenger flow for the year. The features most appreciated by tourists are staff reception and airport comfort. Security controls was rated well for staff courtesy, precision and speed. Passport controls were also rated high, primarily due to the speed of the control and the installation of a 32 eGates, for the digital reading of European passports.
“The Piazza del Made in Italy has become a worldwide benchmark for comfort, convenience and quality shopping and for its food and wine range, in addition to enterprising cultural initiatives, and contributed significantly towards the airport winning the top ranking” said Aeroporti di Roma CEO, Ugo de Carolis.
Carolis explained that Fiumicino began its climb towards efficiency in 2013, when it ranked bottom place among all major airports. This new customer experience is because of the “Atlantia care”, which has seen the company increase investments in infrastructure and quality services, focusing attention on passengers and their needs.
Welfare and quality of life of employees are central to work- life balance
The group cares about the welfare and quality of life of its employees and have a number of initiatives in place to improve each person’s work-life balance. They have set up tools for listening to the needs and expectations of employees, for managing any personal difficulties and/or problems. They believe that the welfare of the company is based on the ability of the organisation to promote and maintain a high degree of physical, psychological and social well-being of workers at all levels and roles.
The corporate welfare initiative includes health care, family care and people care initiatives and Aeroporti di Roma is committed to the development and enhancement of people who work at Fiumicino and Ciampino.
Improving the management of air traffic control
Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) is an operational procedure aimed at improving the management of air traffic. This is done through an exchange of information between all stakeholders like airport operators, handlers, airlines, air traffic controllers, and CFMU - Central Flow Management Unit. This new process allows for high levels of efficiency and punctuality through the optimization of traffic flow and management of airport capacity, reducing delays, better forecasting events and optimizing the utilization of resources.
The A-CDM procedure starts with the transmission of the ATC flight plan 3 hours before the EOBT (Estimated Off Block Time) and continues through 16 milestones that describe the progress of the flight in all its phases until take-off of the aircraft (ATOT - Actual Take Off Time).
The benefits of A-CDM is that airlines adhere to slots reducing taxing times. Ground Handlers practise better planning and use of resources. Airport operators benefit from a reduced environmental impact; improvement in punctuality, better planning and management of gates and stands; and maximum utilization of capacity.
Intermodality and sustainability
The terminals system is being extended as per the Master Plan and a feature of the airport facilities planned is the flexibility and the high degree of intermodality of the links with the territory and the city. 50% of passengers will reach the new airport using public transport, integrated and connected through an innovative Ground Transportation Centre.
To improve connectivity with the airport, passengers are provided with many services, from Easy Parking car parks to the free carpooling services, which allows the airport community to provide and/or request journeys to and from their workplace, using private cars and thus helping to reduce traffic and carbon dioxide emissions.
There is a high level of environmental sustainability flowing from the development, making Fiumicino a virtuous example thanks to self-generation of energy and use of renewable energy resources. Aeroporti di Roma has adopted local area values in the new facilities, providing integrated management of the recycling of waste and the realization of appropriate environmental compensation works.
The new development features a technological power plant to ensure the self-production of 85% of the airports overall power requirements. Production of 30% of electricity requirements will be from renewable sources and the production of 50% of thermal power requirements will also come from renewable sources. There will be a reduction of emissions equal to approximately 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Aeroporti di Roma has put in place an efficient management system to effectively respond to the increases in traffic volume, while having regard to the quality standards of the service provided, safe conditions for aerodrome operations, health protection and safety in the workplace, environmental safeguards, and efficient use of energy resources.
The system ensures environmental safeguards and energy efficiency: to deal effectively with any issues of water, noise and air pollution, and sustainable waste management.
Aeroporti di Roma has committed towards sustainability through the certification by third parties of its management systems, according to international standards (Quality-ISO9001/Environment-ISO14001/Energy-ISO 50001/Safety-OHSAS18001). They took a decision to reward and select suppliers that adopt quality, health, workplace safety and environmental management systems, defined and certified according to internationally renowned standards: ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
Open communications with stakeholders is important within ADR Group’s sustainability strategy. The projects that they have launched with their stakeholders relate to aspects linked to limiting impact on the land, protecting the environment, energy efficiency and communicating with institutional entities regarding programming and planning activities. The group has also supported initiatives aimed at the community, such as Italian Foundations and Non-Profit Organisations, by funding and sponsoring charity and cultural projects.
Airport linked to Italy’s economic growth and competitiveness
The airport is directly linked to Italy’s economy and is a key contributor to its growth and competitiveness. By its presence the airport is capable of producing a significant benefit to a country in terms of employment, added value and GDP. The economic impact of the European airport network on the GDP is estimated at 4.1%, while the impact of the Italian airport network on the GDP amounts to 3.6%.