Location and history
Lugano-Agno Airport in its current location dates back to 27 August 1938. The tarmac runway was initially a grass field. It was paved in 1960 to a length of 1,200 metres and 30 metres wide. Except for a short period, the airport was managed by the Volo Motore Group of Lugano initially. The management of the airport was granted to Avilu SA in 1966. In 1974, the management was taken over by the Azienda Comunale dei Trasporti – Lugano's local public transport company - and on 30 May of the same year, the Federal Office of Civil Aviation granted authorization to the Azienda for the operation of an airfield for an unlimited duration. Subsequently, in 1996, the city of Lugano obtained a 30-year concession from the Office of Civil Aviation. The most significant development of the Lugano airport took place in the early 1980s when the airline Crossair decided to invest in the airport, establishing connections between Lugano and various European cities. In 1985, the runway at Lugano-Agno Airport was extended by 150 metres to the north, with three layers of hot mix asphalt and a total thickness of 14 centimetres. The new control tower at Lugano airport entered into operation on 26 April 1989. It is the third most important in Switzerland, standing at 16 metres in height with 4 levels and a volume of 475 cubic metres. In 2000, new lighting was installed on the main runway, including edge lights, threshold lights and centreline lights. On 1 January 2006, a new management company, Lugano Airport SA, was created following a decision by the city of Lugano. While the airport site belongs to the city of Lugano, the infrastructure is managed by Lugano Airport SA in which the Canton of Ticino holds 12.5% of the share capital and the city of Lugano 87.5%. In 2007-2008, the owners of the management company carried out improvement works to the aircraft parking bays and access to the runway with the construction of a second link.
Infrastructure and capacity
The runway at Lugano-Agno Airport is 1,350 metres long and 30 metres wide. It has parking bays for category A, B and C aircraft, and four heliport bays. Around 200,000 passengers use the airport each year with some 24,000 flights. There are also freight transport operations albeit on a limited scale. The runway in use enables instrumental approaches with various type of aircraft although this is subject to restrictions owing to the nature of the surrounding area. Work will soon begin on modernizing the terminal’s infrastructure with improvements to the anti-fire systems and electrical supply. Specific modifications have been made to the interior of the existing terminal building in order to meet new Schengen regulations.
Lugano Airport - Agno ensures mobility for the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland and the Insubrica Euroregion along the Swiss-Italian border. It is seen as a genuine alternative to the range of travel services provided by northern Italy’s airport system. It is also a key factor in attracting potential industry and business. The airport is vital to the development of the entire region’s economy. The potential catchment area, including the Insubrica Euroregion along the border, contains more than a million inhabitants.
Lugano-Agno Airport aims to ensure its infrastructure meets modern standards and plans have been made to extend the runway by 100 metres in a northerly direction. In tandem with the implementation of the plans of Trasporti del Luganese, an extension to the south has also been proposed. Such an extension is essential for improving the quality of aircraft (70-90 seats) that will be able to operate in Lugano.
(not for operational & aeronautical use / no official publication)