Italy - Country Commercial Guide
Airport and Ground Support Equipment
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In total 164.6 million passengers transited Italian airports in 2022, more than twice the number in 2021, and approaching the 192 million passengers recorded in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, Italian airports with the greatest passenger movement have included Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Bergamo, Naples, Catania, and Venice. Rome Fiumicino registered 29.4 million passengers and Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate registered about 9.6 million and 4.3 million, respectively. As of June 2022, travelers no longer need to show the Green Pass COVID-19 certificate to enter the country.

The cargo sector also grew in 2022, with 1.1 million tons handled, of which 720,000 tons transited the Milan Malpensa airport. Italian airports with the most significant freight traffic include Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, and Bergamo. The FedEx and Amazon European logistics hubs in Italy (Malpensa Cargo City and in the province of Bergamo) validate the significance of Italian airport networks.

The Italian airline market is fragmented, featuring both full-service and low-cost carriers. In 2021, Italy’s flagship carrier Alitalia (Alitalia SAI S.p.A.) ceased operations and was replaced by a new, smaller company called Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways), fully owned by the Government of Italy via the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). ITA Airways began with a fleet less than half the size of Alitalia’s but has steadily grown, with 76 aircraft in September 2023 and more on order. The new carrier serves 54 destinations (including 20 in Italy and six in the United States) with 67 routes and plans to grow to 74 destinations and 89 routes by 2025. In May 2023, the government reached an agreement with the Lufthansa Group, with the latter set to acquire a 41% minority stake in the airline following EU approval. Some other Italian-owned airlines and low-cost carriers include AeroItalia, Air Dolomiti (part of Lufthansa Group), easyJet, Neos, Ryanair, Transavia (part of KLM), Volotea, Vueling, and Wizz Air.


An EU Regulation in 2011 established the mandatory upgrade of hold-baggage screening equipment to standard 3 explosive detection systems (EDS) by September 1, 2020. A few Italian airports in southern Italy are still not compliant and are in the process of issuing tenders. Other equipment with market potential includes anti-intrusion systems, automated baggage-handling systems (BHS), approach surveillance radars, and a broad range of services related to airport and ground-handling operations. For passengers and hand luggage, airports are adopting the latest technologies in hand and window metal detectors (HMD and WMD), explosives trace detectors (ETD), and liquid explosive detection (LAG) systems. Other products with potential include primary explosive detection systems (PEDT) and EDS for cargo luggage, as well as multi-level systems with threat image projection software for mail and parcels. U.S. industry is recognized for its technological leadership in advanced products and quality standards and is expected to maintain a competitive edge.

Private and public medium-term and long-term investments are anticipated for airport expansion, existing structure upgrades, and new equipment and system purchases. Italian airports’ master plans can be found on the Italian Civil Aviation Authority website.

The Italian government does not typically purchase goods and services from abroad unless they cannot be procured locally from domestic sources, which includes subsidiaries, branches, and agents of U.S. companies. To be considered as a source for Italian government purchases, we recommend that U.S. firms be established locally or represented by an agent/distributor. Invitations to bid are published on the individual airport management company websites and in European and Italian official gazettes.


Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport

Italian Airports Association

Italian Official Gazette (public tenders)


U.S. Commercial Service Italy
Maria Calabria, Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Rome
Tel: +39 06 4674 2427