Decisions for Lugano Airport

AGNO

The Passengers and Airports Association of Ticino rejoice in the interest shown by investors - These are crucial days for choosing the group to whom will take over Lugano airport: today decisions will be made

Decisions for Lugano Airport
Does the airport have potential? «We’ve always said it»

Decisions for Lugano Airport

Does the airport have potential? «We’ve always said it»

These are decisive days for the future of Lugano airport. In the following hours the meeting has been set by the Town Hall with the three favored groups bidding to take over the management of the airport: In such an important moment we asked the «new» ASPASI for an opinion, which after absorbing AvioTicino has become the Passenger and Airports Association of Italian-speaking Switzerland.

Its co-presidents: Marco Romano and Roberta Passardi spoke to ‘onthespot’ «Let’s start from the present: after decades of suffering, culminating with the dissolution of the company that managed the airport and the decision to entrust the structure to private individuals, there are even seven groups that have come forward. According to private individuals, the airport has potential which is something that ASPASI has always emphasized». «It has potential» - underlines Passardi - «and it is a hub that can become important again. For this it must be revalued. Suffice it to say that of all the Swiss regional airports Lugano and Bern are recognized in the first places as airports that can offer air transport suited to the needs of the market. Lugano has enormous potential and we have also noticed it in this pandemic period».

«After twenty years of agony explains Romano politics has given an important signal. They decided to leave the open field to private individuals. It is the demonstration that, when one leaves the party there is interest. A discourse that among other things can be extended to the whole of Ticino». There were seven interested groups, some also very solid and with interesting projects. But where were the individuals in recent years? Is it a political fault that we always kept them out the door? «Let’s look ahead,« Romano replies. «Maybe it took the total crash to change course, but now politics has finally decided to entrust responsibilities and burdens to private individuals, who will also be responsible for generating induced activities for the city and the canton».

«Before it was difficult - explains Passardi - because everything was in the hands of the Municipality and the Canton. Setting up a public-private partnership was complex. But now there is openness and we can start, focusing on the creation of an airport that refers not only to general aviation, but also to scheduled connections. To public transport. An airport that allows us to reopen professional contacts, especially with Geneva ».

«The important thing then unlike what certain political groups sometimes did, is to consider the airport as a whole. There are flights, yes, but also Rega, the Army, the flight school, the specialized professions. And then there is the indirect activity of many companies that work with and thanks to the airport. We also think only of catering and transport». «And there are all those companies - Passardi reiterates - that are in Ticino precisely because there is an airport».

Soon it will be decided which private consortium to entrust the management of the airport. However, there are already those who criticize the Town Hall for having been in a bit of a hurry in its decision. The seven groups presented their candidacy on 13 November: it is difficult to analyze the projects in detail in just over two months, especially on such a complex and delicate dossier (especially considering the years spent in analysis, juries and competitions for the other great projects: the stadium and Campo Marzio). «I hope that the attribution to private individuals - underlines Romano - does not generate another two or three years of political discussion. It would risk blowing everything up. On the timing, however, let me say that these are the times of individuals. And that, despite the many working groups and discussions, it does not seem to me that the Campo Marzio project is at an advanced stage». then there is another point, according to the national councilor. “The airport is already there. It is a question of taking over its management. Once this is done, we can imagine planning its relaunch». «The fundamental premise - adds Passardi - is that there is transparency and that the best project is chosen»

Germany and London

Without wishing to ask for a preference, we ask Romano and Passardi if among the seven projects there is any idea that they particularly appreciated. For example, there are those who have proposed scheduled flights to London and Germany. «They would certainly be very important destinations says Passardi- also because, in time of Brexit, we could create a link with the British capital. But internal flights are also important. And I think it would also be important to collaborate with SEA (the company that manages Malpensa and Linate airports, ed.), With which various synergies could be created. Once the technical problems in Lugano have been solved (the approach system for example) we would have a great advantage».

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