The Catania airport closed due to fire weighs heavily on the airport system of the island. And nobody knows when it will be operational again. The Mimit criticizes the management and timing of the emergency. But the dispute passes from the operational level to the political courtyard
At Christmas in Sicily they thought they would can't fly for the high prices imposed by the companies: a madness that has called together the best political forces, from the right and from the left, and the Antitrust. With modest results. However, within a few months the island has become a very distant land, and Sicilians and tourists really run the risk of remaining stranded. Indeed, the many departing fromCatania airportas well as those on the way, are experimenting the inconvenience of having to give up an airport that handles ten million passengers a year and which, however, stopped operating a week ago due to a fire. Dozens of cancellations, hundreds of hijackings and 40 million a day of lost revenue (Assoesercenti data): these are the numbers of a blatant crisis that Minister Salvini has chosen to face by summoning the interested parties around a table (but also declaring that the powers do not belong to MIT).
The prime minister to have questioned the management and timing of the emergencyby the airport management company, was that of companies and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso. She had never done that. To the accusation of a "lack of planning" and of "lack of checks on infrastructural programs, announced and never implemented", the governor replied with a very hard face Renato Schifani. And so the dispute moved from the operational plan - mobility and damage to businesses - to the political courtyard: "Urso prefers to fuel sterile controversies" and "intervenes in a disorganized way, more to protect local affairs than in the interest of the entire Sicilian people". The most painful note, according to the Minister, is that "it is still not clear when we will return to so-called normality", while for Schifani - at least in words - it is "the meeting of institutional synergy between all the representatives of the Meloni government and that of the Region".
The airport has taken a back seat to the dispute, exciting only for insiders, between Forza Italia and the Brothers of Italy. But in Catania no one knows yet when the airport will be fully operational again. Some tensile structures are being set up at the small Terminal C, to guarantee a greater number of rotations (currently four flights depart and arrive a day), while the area compromised by the fire, partially seized by the prosecutor, has been made accessible for reclamation operations. The flight reports of these days, in addition to the natural loss of passengers, highlight the strong criticalities of the Sicilian airport system: the airports requiring the greatest sacrifices are Trapani (passed to handle from 25 to 100 flights a day) and Comiso, which up to about ten days saw a couple of aircraft lined up on the runway. Now the managers – the same ones from Catania – have also had to open the upper floor of the airport to allow guests in perpetual expectation to be able to camp out with a few more comforts.
In Palermo, on the other hand, a strange thing happened: that is, the airport governance decided - motu proprio - not to accept flights destined for Catania for the whole of last weekend. They would have affected the operation of the airport and passenger services. This provision too sent Schifani into a rage: the managing director of Gesap and former president of ENAC, Vito Riggio, was one step away from resigning. It was the Etnean who put more wood on the fire Nello Musumecinow Minister of Civil Protection, who advised Schifani to merge the six management companies of the six Sicilian airports (including Lampedusa and Pantelleria, which have their own): “parochialism is fine, but up to a certain point…”.
As happens in the face of every emergency, Sicily is divided and presents itself without antibodies. Those who had to reach Trapani from Catania to take a new flight, via the A19 motorway, found themselves faced with thirty detours and almost three hours of travel, under a stifling heat. Many railway junctions are interrupted because they are the subject of electrification works, of road transport not even to mention it: it is expensive and problematic. Yet the tourists come. But will they come back? This is the real question that could bind politics and distract it from the quarrels.