Milan’s main international airport, Malpensa, to the northwest of the city, is set to get a dedicated business aviation facility in June 2019, according to SEA Prime, the subsidiary of the Milan airports operator that already runs the Milan Linate Prime FBO.
According to Chiara Dorigotti, general manager of SEA Prime S.p.A. (Booth 4079), Milan Malpensa Prime is currently being built and will be a 1,400-sq-m/15,000-sq-ft facility “located between Terminals 1 and Terminal 2.” She noted, “We already have GA traffic there but currently GA passengers have to go to Terminal 2, which is the easyJet terminal.”
Overall, the project is costing €4 million ($4.65 million) covering a new apron, parking and the FBO itself. SEA Prime also has a 5,000-sq-m/52,820-sq-ft hangar already dedicated to business aviation.
Dorigotti said Milan is its only focus rather than trying to expand elsewhere in Italy. “We are the airport manager in Milano unless our shareholder [SEA] looks at expansion. It is the largest market in Italy by far for business aviation, with over 22,000 movements a year, the fifth highest European city.”
She noted that according to WingX data, August was “the busiest for the last decade” for European business aviation, traffic increasing by 2.4 percent year-on-year. Milan Prime saw a 3 percent increase in movements in September and a 5 percent increase in aircraft max takeoff weight (to an average size of 17 metric tons) compared to September 2017.
Key events in Milan are driving a lot of business aviation traffic, in particular the Monza Grand Prix and Fashion Week in September, as well as Design Week in April, said Dorigotti. There has also been considerable activity from other companies locating at Linate. “We see a trend that is very positive," she said. "Leonardo has opened a maintenance base for helicopters and has some based there, and Bombardier and Gulfstream also have capabilities there."
Rather than being a direct part of an FBO chain, SEA Prime has a “minority stake in Signature for Italy; they’re part of the business and we lease space to them,” said Dorigotti. “We also have Universal, SkyService etc…and we monitor the quality they offer here.”