Aeroporto di Milano-Malpensa
"Città di Milano"
|IATA: MXP – ICAO: LIMC|
|Operator||SEA Aeroporti di Milano|
|Hub for||Cargolux Italia|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||1,000 ft / 304.8 m|
Milan–Malpensa Airport (IATA: MXP, ICAO: LIMC), formerly City of Busto Arsizio Airport, is the largest airport for the Milan metropolitan area in northern Italy. It serves 15 million inhabitants in Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria. The airport is located 49 kilometres (30 mi) northwest of central Milan, next to the Ticino river, which is a border between Lombardy and Piedmont. The airport has two terminals and two runways. There is a dedicated cargo terminal called "CargoCity", which handles over 435,000 tons of traffic annually.
The first industrial airport was opened in 1909 near the Cascina Malpensa, an old farm, by Giovanni Agusta and Gianni Caproni to test their aircraft prototypes. This airport was then opened for civil operation in 1948 during the war reconstruction period, in order to serve the northern area of Milan.
In 2015, Malpensa Airport handled 18,582,043 passengers; it is currently the 29th busiest airport in Europe in terms of passengers. Until 2008, Malpensa Airport was a major hub for Alitalia. As of early 2015, Malpensa, together with Rome Fiumicino Airport, remains the top Italian airport in terms of international passenger traffic, and the leading for freight and cargo.
- 1 History
- 2 Ground handling
- 3 Security services
- 4 Terminals
- 5 Airlines and destinations
- 6 Traffic and statistics
- 7 Transport links
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The site of today's Malpensa Airport has seen aviation activities for more than 100 years. The first began on 27 May 1910, when the Caproni brothers flew their "flying machine", the Cal biplane. In the years that followed, many aircraft prototypes took off from the same site; eventually, it was decided to upgrade the farming patch to a more formal airfield. Both Gianni Caproni and Giovanni Agusta established factories on the new site; the airfield soon developed into the largest aircraft production centre in Italy.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the airfield hosted two squadrons of the Regia Aeronautica Italiana (Italian Air Force). In September 1943, Malpensa airfield was taken over by Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe when northern Italy was invaded by Adolf Hitler. Soon after their arrival, the Germans laid the airfield's first concrete runway.
After the cessation of hostilities during the Second World War, manufacturers and politicians of the Milan and Varese regions, led by banker Benigno Ajroldi of Banca Alto Milanese, restored the airfield. They aimed to making it an industrial fulcrum for post-war recovery of Italy. The main runway, heavily damaged by German troops as they retreated from northern Italy, was rebuilt and extended to 1,800 metres. A small wooden terminal was constructed to protect goods and passengers from all weather conditions.
After World War II
Malpensa Airport officially commenced commercial operations on 21 November 1948 as Aeroporto Città di Busto Arsizio, although the Belgian national flag-carrier Sabena had started flying to Brussels from here a year earlier. On 2 February 1950 Trans World Airlines (TWA) became the first company to fly long-haul flights from Malpensa, using Lockheed Constellations on their services to New York Idlewild Airport.
A change of ownership occurred in 1952 when the Municipality of Milan took control of the airport's operator, the Società Aeroporto di Busto Arsizio. The operator's name was subsequently changed to Società Esercizi Aeroportuali SpA (SEA). After assuming full control, SEA decided to develop Malpensa as an international and intercontinental gateway, whereas Milan's other airport, Linate Airport, would be tasked with handling domestic services only.
Between 1958 and 1962 a new terminal arrived at Malpensa and the airport's two parallel runways were extended to 3,915 m (12,844 ft), becoming the longest in Europe at that time. By the early 1960s, however, major European carriers such as British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and Alitalia had moved the majority of their services to Linate Airport, which was just 11 km east of Milan's city centre, making it much easier for passengers to reach central Milan. This left Malpensa with just a handful of intercontinental links, charter flights and cargo operations. Malpensa suffered a decline in commercial traffic, with passenger numbers dropping from 525,000 in 1960 to just 331,000 by 1965. It was destined to play second fiddle to Linate Airport for another 20 years.
Expansion and development (1995-1998)
By the mid-1980s Linate Airport was handling seven million passengers per year and, with only a short single runway and limited parking slots, has reached its saturation point. With no available land nearby for expansion, an alternative solution was sought: Societa Esercizi Aeroportuali SpA (SEA) quickly found that developing Malpensa was the only practical alternative.
By the end of 1985, a law had been passed by the Italian Parliament that paved the way for the reorganisation of the Milan airport system. Malpensa was designated as the centre for all services covering northern Italy, while Linate Airport was downgraded to a domestic and short-haul facility. "Malpensa 2000", as the plan was called, included the construction of a new terminal as well as the development of fast, efficient connections to Milan's city centre. The European Union recognised this project as one of the 14 "Essential to the Development of the Union" and provided €200 million to help finance the work. Construction started in November 1990; Malpensa airport was re-opened eight years later.
A brief life as Alitalia's main hub (1998-2008)
During the night of 24/25 October 1998 Alitalia moved the majority of its fleet from Rome Fiumicino Airport – where it had been flying from for over 50 years – to Malpensa Airport. The airport started a new lease of life as the Italian flag-carrier's main hub. Alitalia added up to 488 movements and 42,000 passengers a day at the facility which, by the end of 1998, had handled 5.92 million passengers (an increase of more than two million over the previous year's figure).
In 1999 it recorded a spectacular leap to 16.97 million and, by 2007, passenger numbers had reached 23.9 million. Efficient rail links from two different stations in Milan (Centrale and Cadorna stations) ensured easy access by railway, whereas the nearby A8 motorway had an extra lane added in each direction to help speed up traffic into and out of the city centre.
In 2008, a new development plan was launched by Societa Esercizi Aeroportuali SpA (SEA), valued at €1.4 billion, to include a third pier for Terminal 1 and the construction of a third runway. In a surprise move, however, Alitalia announced its decision to revert its main hub back to Rome Fiumicino Airport due to 'high operating costs' at Malpensa Airport. Alitalia did not pull out of Malpensa altogether, and continues to fly several domestic and European services from Milan and two intercontinental flights (to New York and Tokyo). However Malpensa lost around 20% of its daily movements, a decrease from 700 to 550, which resulted in only 19.2 million passengers passing through in 2008. The airport continued to suffer during 2009, when the international financial crisis and higher fuel prices caused a reduction to only 17.6 million passengers that year.
Recent expansion (2008 onwards)
Responding to Alitalia's pullout, the operator SEA launched an all-out publicity programme and aggressively marketed Malpensa Airport around the world. This campaign was successful: from 2008 to 2011, a total of 34 new passenger and cargo routes were added to Malpensa's network.
Lufthansa announced plans in 2008 to create its first hub outside Germany and its fourth European hub at Malpensa. In October 2008, Lufthansa set up its Italian division, Lufthansa Italia. Operations commenced on 2 February 2009, but ceased on 30 October 2011 as Lufthansa abandoned plans to create a hub at Malpensa.
The low-cost carrier EasyJet has made Malpensa its most important base after London Gatwick, with 21 of its Airbus A319s based here. The airline currently flies services from Malpensa to 67 destinations in Italy and across Europe.
Before 2001, ground handling services at Malpensa were shared by the SEA (airport's operator) and Trans-World Airlines. Since then, the contracting process has gradually been deregulated: services are handled by SEA Handling (a subsidiary of the airport's operator) and the private ATA Handling. ATA Handling provides all ground handling services apart from shuttle bus transfer to and from aircraft: this part was originally subcontracted to SEA Handling, but now to Air Pullman. Three companies now add to the portfolio of passenger handling: Aviapartner, Globeground Italia and ICTS Italia.
During the first few years of deregulation, some airliners utilised their own staff for customer assistance, but Air One and British Airways realised that such a practice was too expensive. This has prompted the United States to stop operating routes in and out of Malpensa Airport.
Ramp services are provided by SEA Handling, ATA and, more recently, Aviapartner. SEA Handling provided 80% of the ramp services at Malpensa Airport due to its major customer, Alitalia. In May 2006, however, Italy's Civil Aviation Authority took off the limitation of two ramp handlers. Aviapartner and ARE Group announced that they would create a new company called Aviapartner (owned 51% by Aviapartner and 49% ARE Group) to operate at Milan–Malpensa and Rome–Fiumicino airports.
In 2000, airport security services at Malpensa were transferred from the Polizia di Stato (State Police) to SEA's internal division, SEA Airport Security. Up to 2002, SEA was assisted by IVRI in providing security services, but the contract was not renewed after its expiry. Nevertheless, SEA Airport Security is supervised by the Polizia di Stato (Italian State Police), Guardia di Finanza (Italian Military Customs Police) and Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile (Italy's Civil Aviation Authority), whereas the Carabinieri (Italian Military Police) supervises ramp entrance. Furthermore, some airlines rely on private security companies (such as ICTS Italia, SEA Airport Security, Gruppo Sicurezza etc.) to provide document checks and aircraft guarding.
Malpensa Airport has two passenger terminals, located several kilometres apart.
Terminal 1, which opened in 1998, is the newer, larger and more important terminal. It hosts the airport's Malpensa Aeroporto railway station. It is divided into three sections and handles most passengers on scheduled as well as charter flights:
- Terminal 1A handles domestic and intra-Schengen flights.
- Terminal 1B handles non-Schengen and some intercontinental flights.
- Terminal 1C, opened in January 2013, handles non-Schengen and some intercontinental flights.
Terminal 2 is the older terminal and was named Terminal 2 when Terminal 1 opened. It is currently used only by EasyJet. It has been used previously for charter services, which were then moved to Terminal 1. The only public transport available is ATM (Milan) airport buses. A frequent, free shuttle connects Terminal 2 to Terminal 1. A railway station is under construction.
Airlines and destinations
Traffic and statistics
|3||Rome, Lazio||332,336||Alitalia, easyJet|
|5||Lamezia Terme, Calabria||272,618||easyJet|
|6||Olbia, Sardinia||257,676||easyJet, Meridiana|
|9||1||Cagliari, Sardinia||178,075||easyJet, Meridiana|
Malpensa Express trains run from Malpensa Aeroporto railway station, located at Terminal 1, to Milan Cadorna station in the southwest of central Milan. A train leaves every 30 minutes in each direction. At Milan Cadorna, there are connections with Milan Metro lines M1 and M2, the Milan suburban railway service and other destinations. Journey time is 29 minutes (non-stop) or 34 minutes (stopping). Stopping services call at Busto Arsizio FNM, Saronno Centrale (connections for Varese and Como) and Milan Bovisa (connection with suburban services).
Since 13 December 2010, the Malpensa Express has also run to Milan Central station, connecting there with Milan Metro lines M2 and M3 and various rail services. A train leaves every 30 minutes in each direction (or hourly during early mornings or late evenings). Journey times are 46 minutes (semi-fast) and 53 minutes (stopping). All services call at Milan Porta Garibaldi (connections with Milan Metro lines M2 and M5) and Saronno Centrale, with stopping services also calling at Busto Arsizio FNM station.
Other train services
Two daily high-speed (Alta Velocità) services connect Malpensa Aeroporto to Florence/Firenze via Milan Central, Bologna Central and Florence Santa Maria Novella stations. One of the high-speed trains continues to Naples/Napoli via Rome Termini. As of October 2012, the service was terminated.
Milan's Suburban Line S10 (Milano Rogoredo–Milano Bovisa) runs to Malpensa Airport/Aeroporto from June 2010 onwards. Trains call at: Ferno, Busto Arsizio, Castellanza, Rescaldina, Saronno Centrale, Milano Bovisa, Milano Lancetti, Milano Porta Garibaldi M2-M5, Milano Repubblica M3, Milano Porta Venezia M1, Milano Dateo and Milano Porta Vittoria. As of October 2012, the service is now terminated.
Future train connections
The Malpensa – Varese – Mendrisio (CH) – Lugano (CH) line is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2015, providing a direction connection between Malpensa Airport/Aeroporto and the south-eastern part of Switzerland. There are plans to connect Gallarate Station and Milan's Centrale Station (FS), which is currently a terminus station with no through tracks, so as to allow more convenient access to high-speed international lines.
- Malpensa Shuttle and Malpensa Bus Express connect the airport to Milan Central station (Trenitalia's National Railway hub) and for Milan's Metro network. The shuttle bus calls at Terminals 1 and 2, Busto Arzioso and Milan Fair (on request). Journey time is 60–70 minutes.
- From February 2010 onwards, Lufthansa Airport Bus, in partnership with Autostrade SpA, connects Milan Central Station, with Terminal 1 & 2, with stops in Fieramilanocity and Milan Fair – Rho/Pero on request, every 20 minutes. Furthermore, this new service links the Airport with destinations in Lombardy (Varese, Como, Bergamo and Brescia, Alessandria and Novara), Piedmont (Turin/Torino), Liguria (Genoa/Genova) and Switzerland (Bellinzona, Chiasso and Lugano).
- A free, 24-hour shuttle bus provides access to Terminal 2 from Terminal 1. The bus leaves every 7 minutes. Journey time is 15–20 minutes.
- Malpensa Airport has a direct coach connection with Milan's Linate Airport.
Official taxis in Milan are white and are equipped with taximeter, showing the total price for the journey (the price is for the vehicle, not for people) calculated with official fares approved by local government authorities. The only exception is the journey from city to airport and return. Local authorities was establishing a couple of years ago a fixed airport fare from and to some destinations:
- Malpensa Airport to/from City area – €90
- Malpensa Airport to/from Exhibit area (Fiera di Milano / Rho) – €60
- Malpensa Airport to/form Linate Airport – €100
- Malpensa Airport to/from Varese – €65
These prices will be applied regardless of taxi meter price and are inclusive of all surcharges, night-holidays surcharge, highways tolls, but can be applied only if the journey has no intermediate stops. Otherwise the total price indicated by taximeter will be applied.
Taxi ranks at Malpensa Airport are at Arrival Area, ground floor. Gate #6 for Terminal 1 and gate #4 for Terminal 2.
Malpensa Airport is accessible by a four-lane motorway to the A8 (connecting Switzerland to Milan) and by a five-lane motorway to the A4 (connecting Turin/Torino, Verona, Venice and Triest/Trieste). Local access to the airport is provided by the State Road SS11.
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