Peretola Airport Runway Finally Approved

Florence’s Peretola Airport will finally undergo the construction of a new parallel runway as part of a development plan that has taken years to come into fruition. The upgrading of the Peretola has been a controversial topic for a prolonged period of time with the masterplan going through a series of complicated approval processes and the final approval occurring February 6, 2019. The decision was made at a group meeting which included representatives from the Tuscan Airport Authority, Civil Aviation Agency, the Ministries of Transportation and Culture, universities, the Tuscan Regional Government and mayors of local towns.

The purpose of the plan is to build a longer, more extensive runway permitting more flights to come into the small airport. While this runway would lead to growth opportunities for the Tuscan area, environmental, financial and political concerns have been at the root of the postponement for this project.

Initially, a regional administrative court vetoed the second runway out of concern for its projected environmental impact. However, the Ministry of the Environment approved the construction a little over two years ago yet the construction was still delayed due to the long authorization process.

The plan also required integration of the Florence and Pisa airports which resulted in the recent establishment of the Tuscany Airport Authority, which benefits the overall transport advancement of Tuscany.

Receiving the go-ahead at the most recent group meeting in Rome is a huge step in the right direction although the project will receive only part of the money originally allocated for the construction. A piece of government legislation passed under the Renzi administration will provide 50 million euro for the new runway. The remaining 100 million euro, which was to have come from the Civil Aviation Agency, will now be spent in improving Italy’s transportation system in more than one region.

Florence’s Mayor, Dario Nardella, says he still plans to proceed quickly and get the construction underway while looking for private sponsors.

“I thank the whole city that encouraged and supported me in carrying out our reasons for an enlargement project that will bring more than a thousand new jobs, new growth opportunities for Florence and Tuscany and solve the long-standing problems affecting the citizens of Brozzi, Quaracchi and Peretola,” Nardella says. “Tuscany will finally have a high-level airport system thanks to the integration of the airports of Pisa and Florence, against all obtuse parochialism and against any attempt to block development for political reasons.”  (kelsey lentz)

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.