Recent history of plans to make Ampugnano Airport - Siena - into a big commercial airport


In 1930, the small airport at Ampugnano, 7 km from Siena, was built for military purposes on a land parcel of about 186 hectares.  After the war, it fell into almost complete disuse until the Aeroclub was formed in 1949.


In 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 Vienna.  These 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.


On 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.


In 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 Sovicille.


The 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 refusal.  The 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