Ciampino to shut for repairs in the autumn

Opponents of low-cost flights at Ciampino, Rome’s second airport, are hoping that its closure for nine days at the end of September will work to their advantage.

Flights to Ciampino will be suspended from 24 September to 2 October for work on the runway and Ryanair, the low-cost airline that dominates the arrivals and departures at Ciampino, has already announced its move to Fiumicino for that period.

If Ryanair can move for nine days why can’t it move forever? So goes the argument of those who say that Ciampino is congested, noisy and dangerous and should be returned to its original status for military and state ceremonial flights only.

However Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), which manages both Fiumicino’s Leonardo da Vinci airport and Ciampino, has put forward plans to remodernise and then increase traffic at Ciampino within the next ten years. But this would first involve a period of closure.

Planners have been looking for alternatives to Ciampino for years, but neither the old Urbe airport on Via Salaria nor Viterbo in north Lazio are realistic candidates on either safety or environmental grounds.

So where will Ryanair go if Ciampino closes or drastically reduces the number of daily low-cost flights? Probably to Fiumicino, where its other low-cost rival, Easyjet, has been operating for some time now.