Leonardo da Vinci International Airport also known as Fiumicino International Airport is Italy’s largest airport, with over 29 million passengers in the year 2005. Leonardo da Vinci International Airport was opened in stages between 1956 and 1961 and it has since undergone several expansion works.
Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is located in Fiumicino and serves Rome. The airport, named after Leonardo da Vinci, is completely non-smoking. Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is one of two hubs of the Italian flag carrier Alitalia along with Milan-Malpensa International Airport.
Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is about 29 kilometres (18 miles) by car from Rome’s historic city center, and cab rides can be expensive. Train service is available at the airport terminal. Leonardo Express trains run non-stop to Termini Station in Rome twice an hour; regional trains leave once every 15 minutes, stopping at all train stations between the airport and the city centre.
Ground handling services have been provided by Aeroporti di Roma up to 1999 when it created Aeroporti di Roma Handling (to serve all airlines apart from Alitalia which continued being handled by Aeroporti di Roma itself). Alitalia provided passenger assistance even before 1999. In 2001 Alitalia created Alitalia Airport and started providing self-handling and third party handling. Air One created EAS and started providing third-party services too.
Aeroporti di Roma Handling remains the biggest handler in terms of airlines handled but Alitalia Airport is the biggest handler in terms of airplanes handled as Alitalia aircrafts account for 50% of the ones in Fiumicino. There are some private handlers that provide passenger assistance alone: ARE Group, Globeground Italia and ICTS Italia. On the 2nd of May 2006 Meridiana’s passenger handling staff transferred to Alitalia Airport and the ramp will transfer to Alitalia Airport in February 2007 (from Aeroporti di Roma Handling). The ground handling deregulation has brought confusion on who does what and has decreased service levels especially on transferring baggage.
In May 2006 Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority announced that it took off the limitation of 3 ramp handlers in Rome Leonardo da Vinci airport. ARE Group and Aviapartner announced that they would create a company called Aviapartner (51% Aviapartner; 49% ARE Group) to serve Milan Malpensa and Rome Leonardo da Vinci. There are fears that luggage mishandling will go up.