Plans for a fourth runway at Fiumicino airport have been rejected.
Italy's environment ministry has rejected a plan to expand Rome's Fiumicino airport after the project was deemed "incompatible” with the surrounding nature reserve.
The airport's 2030 Master Plan dates back 12 years and was unveiled formally in March 2017 by the national civil aviation agency ENAC, and Aeroporti di Roma (AdR), a subsidiary of the Atlantia group which manages Italy's motorways.
Central to the rejected expansion plan was the creation of a fourth runway on a 1,300-hectare plot of protected land in the coastal Maccarese area around the airport.
The decision to reject the plan was hailed as a "victory" by Italian environment minister Sergio Costa, of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle, who claimed the project was the "umpteenth attempt to pave over an already tormented area."
Costa also underlined that the project involved "land expropriation for dozens of families living in the area."
It is now a case of back to the drawing board for ADR which says it must reconcile its plans to increase the airport’s capacity in the coming years with "full respect for the environment and the surrounding area."
Fiumicino, which has received a string of awards in recent years, handled more than 43 million passengers in 2018.
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Italy's environment ministry rejects plan to enlarge Rome's Fiumicino airport
00054 Fiumicino, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy