The government argues with Atlantia, but grants an extension of the concession to Fiumicino


On 28 October 2019 the Conte government with the Ministry of the Environment rejected the doubling of Fiumicino airport, after less than eight months the same government proposed the expansion, while air transport in the world has entered into crisis and all the companies airlines, due to the pandemic crisis from Covid 19, are drastically reducing flights, staff and airline fleets.
First with the proposal “Italia Veloce” by Minister De Micheli, then in the slides of the General States promoted by Conte and now in the simplification decree the expansion of Fiumicino airport has become a government priority. The will of the Giallorossi majority in wanting to carry out this work is made even stronger by the changes on the procedures on the EIA provided for by the simplification DL that benefit the client of the work by not providing real guarantees on the verification of environmental impact. London’s Heatrow airport, which has only two runways, has an annual flow of 78 million passengers, while Fiumicino would like to build the 4th runway with a flow of 48 million passengers.

The Benetton group joined Adr in 2007 by acquiring the majority of the capital from Gemina and Macquarie, an Australian partner, through an important financial transaction conducted by Sintonia, in that period the financial holding company of the Benettons which in December 2013 transferred the ownership of AdR to Atlantia.
In 2009 the airport concession, issued in 1974, of the Fiumicino airport, was expiring and was extended by the Berlusconi government for a further 35 years until June 2044. Rome airport is a large business whose concession was given by the State in the absence of a tender on the market and at bargain prices.

AdR closed the financial year 2019 with revenues of 1.129 billion euros against an annual concession paid to the state of 36 million euros: it is yet another example of a state that is unable or unwilling to make its own income heritage, as happens in the maritime domain, according to market competition strategies.

Despite this concentration of privileges the Giallorossi majority with the DL Relaunch, in discussion in the Chamber of Deputies, in art. 202 paragraph 1 bis has granted a further two years of extension to the concession of Rome airports and therefore to the company Atlantia thus bringing the deadline from 2044 to 2046 with the motivation of the crisis from Covid 19. But what does coronavirus have to do with a concession that would it expire in 2044?

The expansion of the airport proposed by Rome airports, which is 99.384% owned by the company Atlantia (also owner of the company Autostrade), would destroy 1300 hectares of state natural reserve on the Roman coast, of which 700 are located in the area of full protection and 900 are owned by Maccarese SpA, also owned by the Atlantia group.
The operation has a cost of 18 billion euros, 10 of which are financed by airport tariffs and by the State, and 106 of the 1300 hectares will be destined to hotels, shopping centers and offices for over 1 million cubic meters of cement and the land that will be expropriated, in the event of start of works, they would be compensated to the Maccarese Spa farm, whose president is Andrea Benetton. The massive works for the realization of the expansion can be assigned in house up to a limit of 40% as required by the 2018 budget law approved by the Conte government and Rome airports owns 20% of the construction companies Pavimental and Spea, which in turn are 59.24% and 60% respectively controlled by the company Atlantia.
I ask a question to President Conte and de facto political leader of the M5S: why are you re-proposing the expansion project of Fiumicino airport rejected by your own government while the ongoing dispute with Autostrade is being finalized, because you have extended the airport concession to Atlantia, why didn’t you adjust the fee of 36 million euros against 1.129 billion euros in revenues? On the one hand, arguing, on the other, holding out one’s hand, that is, changing everything in order not to change anything.

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