Bologna Airport is one of Italy’s most important international airports, and serves the Emilia-Romagna region of about 10 million inhabitants. The city of Bologna is situated approximately 6 km away, and is also nearby the areas of Bargellino, Borgo Panigale, Lame, Lippo and Saffi. Milan is a major Italian city very popular for tourism, and is located around 200 km away. The official IATA code is BLQ, and its ICAO code is listed as LIPE. The airport is also referred to by other names, such as Aeroporto di Bologna, in Italian, and Guglielmo Marconi Airport. This name is in honor of a famous Italian inventor and electrical engineer who played a major role in developing the telegraph system, and whom spent some time in the Emilia-Romagna region.
The airport is extremely proud of their growth in passenger numbers of the recent few years. By November of 2010, it surpassed the significant number of five million passengers, and ended the year with over five and a half million passengers. This was an increase in traffic by 15,3% when compared to the previous year, which are approximately 700,000 more passengers. The increase in passenger traffic is quite remarkable, as 2010 was not considered to be easy, as there were a couple of unforeseen emergencies. Some of these happenings were unusually heavy snowfall during the winter, reduced visibility due to a volcanic ash cloud, terrorism alert and a strike by Spanish air traffic controllers.
Both domestic traffic and international traffic at Bologna saw a significant increase in growth, but the primary reason for the increase in traffic was due to the strong growth of the airline carrier Ryanair. This airline company brought in a number of new routes during 2010, and also a third aircraft to be used. Turkish Airlines also arrived at the airport with a new flight to Istanbul, while the existing flights to areas in Europe and North Africa were strengthened. Ryanair played a large part in this development as well. In 2010, the most popular international flights were to Paris, London and Frankfurt, while Catania, Rome and Palermo were the most popular destinations by domestic flights. There was also a greater interest in flights to Madrid, Casablanca and Bari. The most significant month of 2010 was December, with a record number of 404,587 passengers, which was a 14,6% increase from the previous year.
A good variety of airline companies serve Bologna Airport, of which Ryanair offers the majority of destinations. Some of Ryanair’s destinations include Alicante, Brindisi, Brussels South-Charleroi, Dublin, Edinburgh, Granada, Lamezia Terme, London Stansted, Tenerife-South, Valencia and many more. Alitalia is also one of the main airline carriers, with flights to Catania, Naples, Palermo and Rome-Fiumicino. British Airways is present, with London-Gatwick as its main destination, and Meridiana Fly offers flights to Olbia, Zanzibar, Cagliari, Mombasa and Moscow-Domodedovo. Other airline companies include Air France, Aer Lingus, Air Italy, Belle Air, Blue Panorama Airlines, Lufthansa and Neos.
Bologna Airport covers a total area of 2,450,000 square meters, and consists of a large air terminal and one runway. The runway was recently extended to 2,800 meters in 2004 to allow for the usage of larger aircraft. Due to the extension, it now enjoys an increase in the number of long-distance flights offered to a couple of intercontinental destinations, including the coast of North America, South Africa and the Caribbean. Total movements on the runway in 2010 were up by 6,8%, with 64,193 landings and take-offs.
The air terminal consists of three levels. The ground floor of Bologna Airport is mainly used for arrivals, and contains the baggage reclaim carousels, car hire companies, tourist information points and the automatic machines for parking ticket payments. There is also a departure hall on this level, with check-in areas 2 and 3. The ground floor covers a surface area of 19,500 square meters. The first floor is about 14,500 square meters, and is mostly dedicated to departure operations. The security control procedures for access to the boarding areas are all performed from this area. Some of the facilities on this level include an information desk, a ticket office and the MBL VIP Lounge. There is a total of 57 check-in desks, one boarding area, 19 gates and two check-in areas, and the terminal building is reasonably comfortable to handle the increasing number of passengers. The airport’s second floor is around 10,770 square meters, and is mainly used for restaurant facilities.
For the passengers arriving at Bologna there are a wide variety of useful facilities. The Banca Carisbo – Gruppo Sanpaolo IMI is available for all banking transactions, as well as a number of cash machines and currency exchange services provided by Travelex. The VIP Lounges are spacious and offer a relaxing ‘get-away’ from the hustle and bustle, and offer a number of business and internet-related services. There are also conferencing facilities available. Besides the good shopping outlets and some lovely cafés and restaurants, additional services include basic first aid facilities, telephones, a children’s play area, baby changing areas and a lost property office. The airport is also fully equipped for disabled passengers, and open 24 hours a day.
Bologna Airport is also significant in terms of cargo traffic, and 2010 was just as good for cargo as it was for passenger traffic. Cargo traffic increased by 26,177 tons, or by 6.3% when compared to the previous year. In 2009, it handled 33,000 tons of cargo, as well as 2,000 tons of mail by the courier operators of DHL, TNT and UPS.
In 2011, It is looking forward to further growth and development, whilst maintaining the highest international standards of quality and security.
BLQ is the 3 letter AATA code. The name is locally known by is Guglielmo Marconi. To help you in your arrival or departure you can enter the following GPS details – 44.53556, 11.28861 into your Smartphone or in-car GPS system to help you get directions from Bologna Airport.
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