Aeroporto di Taranto-Grottaglie
|Serves||Taranto / Grottaglie, Italy|
|Elevation AMSL||215 ft / 66 m|
Taranto-Grottaglie "Marcello Arlotta" Airport (Italian: Aeroporto di Taranto-Grottaglie "Marcello Arlotta") (IATA: TAR, ICAO: LIBG) is an airport serving Taranto and Grottaglie, both comunes in the province of Taranto in Italy. The airport is located 1.5 km (0.8 NM) from the city of Monteiasi, 4 km (2.2 NM) from Grottaglie and 16 km (8.6 NM) from Taranto. It is named for Marcello Arlotta (1886-1918), an Italian aviator.
The airport is used for general aviation, with no commercial airline service. As Alenia Aeronautica produces big fuselage parts of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a hangar located beside an airport's apron, multiple times a month, a Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter, also known as Dreamlifter, lands at Taranto Grottaglie to pick up the parts and fly them to the Boeing factory at Paine Field and Boeing South Carolina at Charleston International Airport for final assembly. Those flights are operated by Atlas Air. It is also known as Taranto-Grottaglie Airport or Grottaglie Airport. In August 2012, the broker ESAFLY announced that it plans to commence scheduled services from Taranto.
In 1923 Grottaglie was a military airfield of Regia Aeronautica During World War II, was a military airfield used by Regia Aeronautica and after by the United States Army Air Forces. The airfield was designed for heavy bomber use, and was a major base for Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberator heavy bombers used in the strategic bombardment campaign against Germany. In addition, Twelfth Air Force tactical bombers were stationed at the airfield which were used to support Allied ground forces in the Italian Campaign.
Known USAAF units assigned to the airfield were:
- 47th Bombardment Group, 24 Sep-15 Oct 1943, A-20 Havoc (12 AF)
- 321st Bombardment Group, 15 Oct-20 Nov 1943, B-25 Mitchell (12 AF)
- 5th Reconnaissance Group, (F-5 (P-38) Lightning), November 1943 - 28 December 1944
- 449th Bombardment Group, 4 Jan 1944-16 May 1945, B-24 Liberator (15 AF)
- 416th Night Fighter Squadron, 30 Sep 1943-28 Jan 1944, Bristol Beaufighter (12 AF)
Soon after the airport had been seized by the Allies in September 1943, 205th Battery from 89th (Cinque Ports) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, arrived to protect the USAAF build-up.
After the war ended, the airfield was turned over to local authorities, and in 1950 was air base of 86º Gruppo Antisom 8Antisubmarine Warfare Wing) of Italian Air Force In 1979 was a Naval Air Station of Italian Navy.
- Airport information for LIBG from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
- Airport information for TAR at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- volaspheric: Italian broker ESAFLY plans to commence scheduled services from Taranto
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- 89 HAA Rgt War Diary, 1943, The National Archives (TNA), Kew, UK, file WO 169/9547.
- Horowitz, Jason (31 July 2018). "Ceramics Aren't Enough. Bring on the Spaceships, Italian Town Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
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