Forlì Airport

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Forlì International Airport
Aeroporto Internazionale di Forlì - "L. Ridolfi"
Airport type Public
Serves Forlì
Location Forlì, Italy
Elevation AMSL 94 ft / 28.7 m
Coordinates 44°11′44″N 012°04′11″E / 44.19556°N 12.06972°E / 44.19556; 12.06972
FRL is located in Italy
Location of the airport in Italy
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 2,560 8,399 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 261,939
Passenger change 11-12 Decrease -24.4%
Aircraft movements 3,203
Movements change 11-12 Decrease -31.4%
Sources: Airport website[1]
Statistics from Assaeroporti[2]

Forlì International Airport (IATA: FRLICAO: LIPK), also known as Luigi Ridolfi Airport (Italian: Aeroporto di Forlì - "L. Ridolfi"), is an airport in Forlì, a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It serves Emilia-Romagna, eastern Tuscany, specifically the metropolitan Bologna and Rimini Riviera areas. It is named for Italian aviator Luigi Ridolfi (it). Since June 2015, it is operated by Air Romagna S.p.A., a public joint stock company registered in Forli, Italy.

Business Model and Plan[edit]

Since Air Romagna S.p.A. has taken responsibility for the airport, the new focus is to promote advances in aviation business models, responsibly manage the carbon footprint, examine and share new ways to work together with airlines, passengers, employees, and collaboratively with other airports. This concept is known as the "Smart Airport."[3]

Halcombe, the Administrator of the airport and the managing company, Air Romagna S.p.A., previously led business redesign in banking and health care. He is responsible for innovations such as the first electronic medical record (electronic health record)and automated electronic billing system that resulted in a >45% increase in net revenue. He was previously on the board of the Southwest Michigan Transportation Commission, responsible for turning a US private airport into a commercial airport in one year, developing it into a center of Fortune 50 general aviation.

Strategic partners developing at Forli International Airport include Google and YP for marketing. A new project being refined to manage carbon reduction is targeted to cooperate with IBM for correctly loading planes with optimum cargo and passengers. The new system is designed to manage the finance of carbon reduction through time, applying revenue management principles. A new maintenance facility is planned for the beginning of 2017 in conjunction with Alenia Aermacchi and Sukhoi Holding.

Engineered environmental responsibility[edit]

Forli International Airport committed itself to become the first carbon negative airport in the world. This is done by the close examination of new passenger and cargo routes, optimizing for performance an optimum price and load factor, glide path of the planes, and finally arriving at a cost/carbon profile. The cost/carbon profile is compared with competitive routes and solutions for other airports. The airport then works with an independent certification organization to generate Emissions Reduction Certificates[4] for the new route, should the route be accepted by the airport. Many routes do not conform with this model and are rejected. The system then utilizes corrective pricing measures to provide an optimum value for the customer (revenue management)[5][better source needed] that are utilized to optimize the financial model of the route to the benefit of the air carrier and the passenger. The new system is based upon work accomplished by International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) utilized as far back as the SABRE system developed for American Airlines in 1957.

Target market[edit]

Forli International Airport accommodates General Aviation from international sources, charter traffic from Scandinavian sources, and connects Adriatic regional hubs with both point to point transit and hub and spoke airports. Starting in the Fall or 2016, United States markets appear to have found the Emilia-Romagna region because of the high quality food and environment.[6]


Early years[edit]

Forli International Airport was originally Luigi Ridolfi Airport, and dedicated by Benito Mussolini prior to WWII. Mussolini was born nearby in the town of Predappio.

In March 29, 2013 the airport was closed due to the lack of Jet-A fuel per Notam B1624/13. The management company, SEAF S.p.A.,[7] was declared bankrupt. A tender was issued by ENAC, the aviation administration, to operate the airport. The submissions were reviewed by local, regional, and pan-EU government representatives, as well as Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Lupi. Support was put forth unanimously[8] from government for a submission by Aviacom S.r.L., Robert L Halcombe Administrator, Lotras S.p.A., and Siem S.r.L.[9] forming Air Romagna S.p.A.

Aviacom S.r.L. is a limited liability company owned by Robert Halcombe of the United States, Simone Vezzelli, and Giacomo Maioli, both of Rimini, Italy. Aviacom S.r.L. is currently listed in the official registrar of companies, the Chamber of Commerce of Italy, as having a balance of over five million euro as of the close of 2014.

The thirty year concession was awarded on September 28, 2014 Air Romagna S.p.A. At this time, Robert L Halcombe was appointed Administrator (he is Administrator of Aviacom S.r.L. and CEO of The Sovereign Group, LLC of Reston, Virginia) Unico, the sole administrator of the new company and the airport. An Accountable Manager was appointed, Sandro Gasparrini, who was the former head of ENAV, the air navigation ministry of Italy. Simone Vezzelli was appointed Deputy Accountable Manager. The concession was signed by Robert Halcombe and Alessio Quaranta, General Manager of the Italian civil aviation agency on June 6, 2015.[10] Gasparini left his post in 2016 and was superseded by Halcombe. The Deputy position fell to Allesandro Berardi.

Aviacom S.r.L. is the majority owner of Air Romagna S.p.A., at 92% of the stock. The sole administrator is Dott. Robert L. Halcombe. Aviacom is registered as an "innovative" company in the register of companies of Italy.

Management proposed a radical shift in industry focus, in support of mutual aid and collaboration. This has attracted the support of several governments, workers organizations, legal and educational institutions.

While most Italian airports focus on low cost carrier (LCC) passenger traffic which bankrupts other airports, Forli's new focus is on smarter implementations of routes that optimize management of 1) international cargo and passenger movement, 2) maintenance of modern airliners, particularly more fuel efficient airliners, and c) advanced fuel management which delivers lower cost and greater reliability.


The airport resides at an elevation of 94 feet (28.7 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 12/30 with an asphalt surface measuring 2,560 by 45 metres (8,399 ft × 148 ft).[1] The facility is currently upgrading to navigation Cat III(b), to be completed the Summer of 2016. A major highway was completed in June 2014, providing a direct access from major north-south artery road, A-14.

Currently, new terminal space is being designed which makes use of only renewable and low carbon materials. Old fossil fuel equipment is being phased out, to be replaced by electric vehicles. Electric power consumed at the airport must be contracted from clean, renewable sources. The airport reserved the right in all sub-concessions (services such as catering, trash, etc.) to require renewable or recycled materials and vehicles operated by renewable energy.

Forli International Airport is also the home of three major aviation universities and training facilities, serving ENAV (air navigation and air traffic control school),[11] ENAC (pilot and cabin crew training), and aircraft certification and maintenance advance training. It similarly has attracted maintenance and manufacture of civilian drones, and the first pan-European aviation and aerospace business incubator.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Under the new administration, in 2016 the primary focus was to restructure general aviation operations. 2017 brings charter traffic and scheduled airlines. The target commercial passenger area of influence is Northern Europe and Scandinavia, major cities west in the European Union, and east to the Russian Federation. Then, through alliances, the intent is to connect with North American markets. From March 2017, all new scheduled airline traffic will be required to be evaluated for carbon footprint and optimization. According to the cost/carbon models, some traffic will be referred to other airports.

Forli Airport was formerly used by Wizz Air, but the airline canceled all flights to Forlì. Wind Jet moved to the nearby Rimini Airport on 27 March 2011, and thereafter quit Rimini Airport. Ryanair used to fly from Forli to a number of European cities such as London-Stansted and Frankfurt-Hahn until it moved to the nearby Bologna Airport. Questions surfaced upon the vote of Brexit as to whether the business model (supporting grants from the EU) would continue.[12] This cited study and following airport round table discussions indicate that the current Italian airport business model unstable. That is based upon Low Cost Airlines (or Low Cost Carriers) receiving rebates of landing fees. Although some airlines "rebate" the fees to passengers, they charge a "recovery fee" equal to the rebate. The UK, for example, applies unevenly the practice of assessed fees and rebates.[13] Scandinavian airports changed the structure away from rebates in 2015.[14] This practice essentially put local airlines out of business.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Runway & Infrastructure. Aeroporto di Forlì - "L. Ridolfi". Accessed 24 January 2010.
  2. ^ Associazione Italiana Gestori Aeroportuali
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Revenue management
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ ACI International, Partner Martin Hvidt Thelle Managing Economist Torben Thorø Pedersen Economist Frederik Harhoff (June 2012). "Airport Competition in Europe" (PDF). Airport Competition in Europe. Airport Council International. 
  13. ^ Schlappig, Ben (August 23, 2011). "Understanding the UK Air Passenger Duty (and how to minimize it)". Understanding the UK Air Passenger Duty (and how to minimize it). One Mile at a Time. 
  14. ^ Swedavia Consultation (8 January 2015). "Swedavia’s Airport Charges & Rebates 2015" (PDF). Swedavia Swedish Airports. Swedavia Consultatio. 

External links[edit]