COMMITTEE AGAINST EXPANSION OF AMPUGNANO AIRPORT –
history of plans to make Ampugnano Airport - Siena - into a
big commercial airport
1930, the small airport at Ampugnano, 7 km from Siena, was
built for military purposes on a land parcel of about 186
the war, it fell into almost complete disuse until the
Aeroclub was formed in 1949.
1998, in order to exploit money available for the Holy Year
(2000) celebrations, a development project was presented to
increase the runway from 1260 to 1498 metres and to do other
work which was only partly carried out.
Some weekly flights were organised to Milan, Olbia and
services lasted for a year or two and the airport made heavy
losses: €870,000 in 2006; €830,000 in 2005; €1,300,000
in 2004; €1,119,000 in 2003.
3rd July 2007, to their surprise, the people of Siena learned
about plans to expand their airport.
The news came from an article in “La Repubblica”
written by journalist Ilaria Ciuti.
The article described options A and B, with runways of
2500 m and 3800 m, respectively.
Traffic of four million passengers per year was
predicted by 2020. This
would transform the tiny airport into the biggest in Tuscany.
The following day, an interview with Mr. Enzo Viani,
president of Aeroporto di Siena s.p.a. was published,
confirming the information in the article.
In the days and weeks that followed, these figures were
never denied, but there was mention of achieving the expansion
in three stages.
mid July, a group of citizens reconstitued the pre-existing
“Comitato contro l’ampliamento dell’aeroporto di
Ampugnano - Siena” (Committee against expansion of Ampugnano
airport, Siena) which has now nearly 3000 publicly declared
members. In only
three weeks, 2850 signatures of residents of Siena and
province were collected for a petition to the Mayor of
Committee discovered that a notice calling for tenders to
finance expansion of the airport had been published on 30th
June 2006 in the financial newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore”.
The committee had to obtain a copy from the newspaper
because a written request to the airport was answered with a
notice did not indicate details sufficient to ensure the
“public evidence” which is necessary when a company with
public and private shareholders hands over a public majority
shareholding to a private enterprise. The Committee later
discovered news of an agreement signed by the bank Monte dei
Paschi di Siena (MPS), Aeroporto di Siena s.p.a. and Galaxy
Investment Fund on the website of Siena Council, dated 9th
March 2007. The agreement regarded an exclusive contract with
Galaxy for a feasi