Catania-Vincenzo Bellini Airport (Italian: Aeroporto di Catania-Fontanarossa Vincenzo Bellini) (IATA: CTA, ICAO: LICC) is located 2.3 NM (4.3 km; 2.6 mi) southwest of Catania, the second largest city on the Italian island of Sicily. The airport is named after the great opera composer Vincenzo Bellini who was born in Catania. It is the busiest airport in Sicily and the 6th busiest in Italy with 6,054,469 passengers in 2008, but in terms of domestic traffic it ranks at the 3rd place, after Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and Linate Airport. In order to cope with the increasing passengers figures, a new terminal, equipped with 22 gates and 6 loading bridges, opened on May 8, 2007 replacing the old facilities, but a further enlargement of the terminal area seems already necessary.
Catania Airport's history dates back to 1924, when it was the region's very first airport. During World War II it was seized by the Allies during the Sicilian Campaign and used by the United States Army Air Forces as a military airfield. Twelfth Air Force used the airport as a combat airfield, stationing the 340th Bombardment Group, which flew B-25 Mitchells from 27 Aug-19 Nov 1943. In addition, the HQ, 51st Troop Carrier Wing used the airport from 29 Sep 1943 to 29 Jun 1944. Various transport units used the airport for the rest of the war, afterward it was turned back over to civil authorities. By the late 1940s, it was clear that the airport was fast running out of space and it was deemed necessary to relocate and in 1950, the new bigger and improved Catania Airport opened for business. After 20 years of unexpected growth and high passengers levels, in 1981 it was once again necessary to restructure the airport to cope with demand. More recently in 2007, a state of the art new terminal building was inaugurated.
Security and controls
SAC SECURITY provides all the compulsory security and inspection services at the airport. In particular, it handles security and inspection/controls for departing and transiting passengers, enforces hand-baggage limits at the departure gates, and all other inspections/controls required by the airport authorities. Following an increase in the level of security inspections passengers are reminded to arrive at the airport well in advance of their flight departure time.
The airport is conveniently located close to the A19 motorway, which links Catania with Palermo and central Sicily, while the European route E45 runs to Syracuse in the south. A shuttle bus service provides transport into Catania city centre and the Central Train Station, while scheduled bus services to other parts of the island are also available direct from the airport. Passengers requiring a more comfortable ride can take a taxi from the terminal building into the city or beyond, with popular locations including nearby Syracuse, Taormina, and the westerly resorts of Palermo and Marsala.
Airlines and destinations
Major airlines such as British Airways and Lufthansa offer services here and connect numerous European destinations such as Munich and London, while domestic airlines offer extensive flights to many of the regions major destinations. The current "investment programme" has ensured that Catania Fontanarossa Airport continues to look forward and plan for growth over the next ten years, implementing a whole new infrastructure and making many additions, including a panoramic restaurant, a new airside runway and further office space.
Aer Lingus: Dublin [seasonal]
Air Berlin: Basel/Mulhouse [seasonal], Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover [seasonal], Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Zürich
Air Italy: Naples
Air Malta: Frankfurt, Geneva, Malta-Luqa, Munich
Alitalia: Bologna, Genoa, Milan-Linate, Naples, Rome-Fiumicino, Trieste, Venice-Marco Polo
Alitalia operated by Air One: Milan-Malpensa
Austrian Airlines: Vienna [seasonal]
Blue Air Bacau, Bucharest-Baneasa
British Airways: London-Gatwick
Brussels Airlines: Brussels
Cimber Sterling: Copenhagen
EasyJet: Milan-Malpensa, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
EgyptAir Express: Cairo, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh [seasonal]
Iberia: Barcelona, Madrid
ItAli Airlines: Malaga
Jetairfly: Brussels [seasonal]
Lufthansa: Milan-Malpensa [begins 1 November], Munich
Luxair: Luxembourg [seasonal]
Meridiana: Bologna, Florence, Lampedusa, Milan-Linate, Turin, Venice-Marco Polo, Verona
Sun d'Or International Airlines: Tel Aviv [seasonal]
Thomas Cook Airlines: Belgium Brussels [seasonal]
Thomson Airways: London-Gatwick [seasonal], Manchester [seasonal]
TNT Airways: Brussels [seasonal]
Transavia France: Paris-Orly
Travel Service operated by Smart Wings: Prague
Trawel Fly: Milan-Orio al Serio
Wind Jet: Barcelona [seasonal], Forlì, Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa , Milan-Orio al Serio, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Parma, Pisa, Prague, Rome-Fiumicino, Tel Aviv, Turin, Venice-Marco Polo, Verona Wizzair Bucharest-Baneasa, Budapest, Prague [begins 3 July]
XL Airways France: Paris-Charles de Gaulle
From Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Catania-Fontanarossa_Airport&oldid=376973972>.