In a sign of its increasingly important role as a regional transport hub, work is under way at Romes Leonardo Da Vinci Airport in Fiumicinoto to build a second large hotel. The Hilton chain, which owns Fiumicinos sole hotel to date, is behind the project that will form a part of the groups middle-income Scandic brand of hotels.

The new venue will be ready to open by the beginning of 2007.

Scandic hotels are common in northern Europe and are already present in the southern Italian cities of Bari and Syracusa. Fiumicino airport has experienced eight per cent average annual growth recently, generated by both the tourist and business sectors. The airport authorities and developers hope that the new hotel will help to meet the increasing demand for good quality but affordable overnight lodgings for travellers on stopover flights, early departures or short business trips.