Florence Airport, Peretola
|Florence Airport, Peretola
Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola
|Operator||Aeroporto di Firenze|
|Elevation AMSL||144 ft / 44 m|
Statistics from Assaeroporti 
Florence Airport, Peretola (IATA: FLR, ICAO: LIRQ) (Italian: Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola) formally Amerigo Vespucci Airport, is an airport located close to Florence, Italy, but administratively located within the territory of Sesto Fiorentino. It is the smaller of the two main airports in the Tuscany region, the larger being Galileo Galilei International Airport near Pisa.
The first air field in Florence was created in the Campo di Marte area in 1910 when military authorities allowed the great field to be used for "Experiments in Air Navigation". Campo di Marte thus became Florence's first airport, and remained so throughout the Twenties. Soon surrounded by houses, the flight field became inadequate for the new aircraft that were then replacing the first canvas-covered craft. A more suitable area for the airport was needed and in 1928 the locality "Cipresso del Nistro" on the plain between Florence and Sesto Fiorentino was chosen. The Peretola airport was inaugurated there in the early Thirties.
Peretola was a great field where airplanes landed and took off without any mandatory direction until the Ministry of Aeronautics decided to enlarge and upgrade the now aged flight field. The airport area was extended toward Castello, and in 1938-39 an asphalt runway 60 metres wide and 1,000 metres long, oriented in the north-east direction, was built.
In the late 1940s Peretola welcomed its first passenger flights with the DC-3 Aerea Teseo. In 1948, however, this company went out of business. In the late Fifties and early Sixties Alitalia, also using the DC3, offered the flights Rome-Florence-Venice and Rome-Florence-Milan. ATI then offered several domestic flights with the Fokker F27. In the early 1980s it was decided to upgrade the airport facilities to let Peretola "take-off" again.
In 1984 Saf, now AdF (the company which manages the airport) was founded and in the same year the restructuring work was completed: lengthening (from 1,000 to 1,400 metres) and lighting of the runway, installation of the VOR-DME, and rebuilding of the airport terminal. In September 1986, regular flights started again. Since then the number of airplanes and passengers has steadily increased.
Development since the 1990s
In 1992 the building now dedicated to arrivals, constructed by AdF, was inaugurated. Two years later Civilavia inaugurated the new departures building. Also in 1994 the City of Florence opened the new car park at the entrance to the airport. Improvements in quality were obvious, but definitive upgrading of the airport took place in 1996 when the take-off and landing runway was lengthening by 250 metres and AdF provided for further enlargement of the departure area. Today the new area covers a total of 1,200 square metres, 770 of which are for public use, and it has 15 check-in desks.
Since April 9, 1998, AdF has had a global concession for managing the airport infrastructures, and it has assumed responsibility for the maintenance and development of Florence Airport.
On December 5, 2012 Vueling has announced the opening of a new base of operations from which to fly to Florence to several destinations in Europe.
In late 1999 projects for restructuring and enlargement began, involving the departures and arrivals terminals, the aircraft parking areas and other areas dedicated to the operational and commercial management of the airport. In July 2000 AdF made it debut on the stock market and in 2001 Amerigo Vespucci was among the first European airports to obtain UNI EN ISO 9001/2000 certification for the quality of its services.
It is a small airport, with a single runway and the main taxiway is situated at the end of runway 05, with an overshoot/holding area at the end of runway 23. As is common with smaller airports, after landing planes turn around at the end of the runway, then taxi back down the runway to reach the parking area and terminal.
Airlines and destinations
The airport is connected with the city by a bus service from the central railway station every half hour, operated by the local Florence city bus company ATAF. Taxis rides to downtown have a fixed fare of €20. The planned line 2 of the Florence lightrail network will have a terminal at the airport.