Fiumicino Airport prepares for the return of the Roman Empire

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The headline may appear a little exaggerated, but Aeroporti di Roma's (AdR) plans for the two Rome airports - Fiumicino and Ciampino - amount to EUR8.2 billion, and in Fiumicino's case an expansion of capacity to handle 100 million passengers per annum.

That is an ambitious target for a major city airport system that had been on the western European periphery for some considerable time, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

Establishing a new aviation 'Roman Empire' (that isn't the Italian football team) will require the cooperative participation of many airlines, and not least Alitalia, whose own future remains uncertain. In the meantime, the LCC-dominated Ciampino airport has entered into a recovery mode much faster than its westerly neighbour.

AdR is as well, or as badly, placed to move forward as most of its key peer airport group operators, but unlike many of them it only has to worry about the two airports on its own patch - and that could prove advantageous.

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