The Apulian airport system is a pivotal point for the economic growth of the entire region. Air transportation is able to ensure fast connections with Northern Italy and continental Europe, as well as the Mediterranean basin and the Balkans.
In the past, the regional airport system’s infrastructural drawbacks and lack of connections could not meet the economic and social demands of Apulians, who are historically dynamic people.
Hence the decision taken by SEAP, the Apulian Airport Managing Agency, to devise an integrated planning-and-development tool, able to forecast and direct future demands in terms of airport needs. This tool, a joint effort made with ENAC (the Italian Civil Aviation Authority), thanks to its special methodology may be taken as strategic model for all Italian airport planning activities.
The first part of the document is characterized by a systemic exploration of offer/demand features, also thanks to Local Government agencies and private industry surveys.
The scenarios drawn upon such studies are aimed at implementing specific areas according to actual needs, both regarding infrastructures and flight connections. All planning activities are referred to a 40-year time span.
The Master Plan is also a "decision-making" tool, devised as an essential tool to define operational policies, funding sources and cooperation strategies with the surrounding region.
The Apulian Regional Administration decided to adopt such Master Plan in its entirety, making it an integral part of the Regional Transportation Plan, envisaging an “airport asset” based on the four regional airports, each with its specific development needs and integration issues when linked to other transport modes.
The subsequent traffic growth, besides great infrastructure changes, pressed for increased safety and security standards, both for passengers and for routine flight operations; in this regard, the regulations for new airports’ building and operations, published by ENAC, introduce regulation measures aimed at increasing airport safety features, to be enforced by airport agencies and authorities so as to ensure organizational, infrastructural and operational standard procedures as stated by the adopted regulatory documents.