History of Naples International Airport
Naples International Airport was first used for flights in 1910 when flight exhibitions utilised the space to entertain visitors and locals. The Capodichino area surrounding the airport, known locally as “Campo di Marte”, was commandeered by the Italian army during the First World War and the airport was used primarily for the protection of Naples and the surrounding area from Austro-Hungarian and German air attacks.
After the First World War ended, the airport returned to light use until the outbreak of World War II brought it back to military use first by the Royal Air Force and then the United States Army Air Forces as they utilised it extensively during their Italian Campaigns.
During the RAF’s time at the airport, the airfields hosted the now famous RAF No. 324 Wing and its five squadrons of Supermarine Spitfires. Later the US Twelfth Air Force were stationed briefly at the site. By the end of the war the airport was given over to the Air Transport Command and used as a transport hub for cargo, transiting aircraft and personnel to keep the war machine moving.
Commercial traffic didn’t start using the airport until 1950 when the first chartered flight touched down on its single runway. Over the years, it has grown in popularity and now handles over 9 million passengers each year. This upsurge can be mainly attributed to the airport’s strategic location and nearby points of interest.
Top destinations served by Naples International Airport are London, Paris, Barcelona, Venezia, Bergamo, Turin, Munich, Roma, and both Milan airports.
During the 1980s the Gestione Servizi Aeroporto Capodichino was established to run the airport and in 1982 it was renamed Gestione Servizi Aeroporti Campani. In 1995 a plan was put in place that saw the airport privatised. BAA acquired 70% of the airport’s shares from the Naples City Council. This privatisation led to a drastic number of changes and renovations, including the development in 1998 of the open 365 days a year Galleria Napoli shopping arcade in Terminal One. Later still in 2002, a new departure lounge was built and opened by H.R.H. Prince Charles to facilitate the increase of passengers accessing the airport.
In March 2003 GE.S.A.C. assumed total management of Naples Airport with a 40 year license valid until 2043