The perception of air transport and the airport system in Italy 1

The perception of air transport and the airport system in Italy

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“In Italy, there is a general underestimation of the positive effects that air transport and the airport system have on economic development and, in particular, on employment”. The president of Assaeroporti, (Airports Assoc.n) Carlo Borgomeo,  presented data from a survey commissioned by Demopolis and presented it at the Foreign Press premises in Rome, entitled.

According to Borgomeo, the excessive emphasis on the environmental impact of air transport concludes in summary, for Italians, air transport is very safe, not very green.

In the presentation of the survey, the Minister of Infrastructures, Enrico Giovannini, the president of ENAC, Pierluigi Di Palma, and the president of ENAV, Francesca Isgrò commented on a misalignment between the perception and reality of Italian air transport.

When asked for every million passengers passing through the airport, how many employees were generated, 82% of the interviewees did not know or underestimated the value.

The scenario changes little (78%) if we consider the frequent users of air transport. According to Atag – Oxford Economics data, for every million units of traffic transported, at least between 500 and 750 new jobs are generated.

At the same time, Assaeroporti (pre-Covid) estimates indicated that the aviation sector accounts for 3.4% of the national GDP, including 200,000 direct workers and 750,000 indirect workers.

The same situation also applies to the environmental impact.

Nine out of ten Italians see air transport as not being green enough. When asked about the cleanest transport systems air traffic made it to third place, ranking much after the ship.

Such data was denied by the European Environment Agency. According to them, the real enemy of the environment is road transport, responsible for 71.8% of the total emissions produced in the transportation sector.

Aviation in a comparison contributed only 13.2% to the environmental impact number. This is less than ocean travel which accounts for 14.1%.

For this reason, Borgomeo underlines the importance to continue with a consistent green investment program. It puts Italian airports at the top of the European level in the fight against climate change.

This commitment, he added, must however be accompanied by public policies that are more attentive to the entire sector: With the National Airport Plan, our sector will be able to regain centrality in the context of transport policies”.

Despite a general distorted perception, only 13% of Italians believe it is necessary to resize flights, as they are too polluting.

“In the world of civil aviation, everything is changing very quickly, both in the air and on the ground, commented the president of ENAC, Pierluigi Di Palma. We have a clear perception of this, for how distances have shortened and for how the quality of the airports is adapting to the changing needs of passengers.

Like Enac, we have initiated what we call the reconciliation between the environment and air transport. This is guaranteed and supported by technological innovation that favors their synthesis.

Taking into account that alongside the intermodal train-air integration, we are developing an air-air integration, in view of the new mobility that will lead us. ,

Just to give an example, reach the front door by going down the stairs and not going up. We will arrive from the roof and not from the street ».

The president of ENAV, Francesca Isgrò, said that the investigation has revealed that the plane is perceived as the safest means of transport.

ENAV is focusing on innovation and digitalization to combine the highest safety standards with sustainability. We have just approved the new Industrial Plan 2022-2024 and the Future Sky 2031 Strategic Plan which will bring about a digital transformation of air navigation services.

We will integrate new solutions for drones and invest in sustainable technology. Our platforms allow aircraft to fly more and more efficiently. By 2023, we will also activate a new system to increase the efficiency of flights arriving at congested airports. This will guarantee approximately 28 kg of CO2 of lower emissions per individual. aircraft”.


For Italians, the country’s recovery now also is passing through airports. 90% in the survey think, that after the 2-year Covid emergency, the airport system is essential for the growth of the economy, tourism, and employment.

They outline the profile of the Italian airport system with the solid characteristics of a strategic asset, a fundamental engine to recover the country.

The environmental impact plays a smaller role according to the survey. Only 7% of respondents evaluated it when choosing a means of transport.

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