Florence Airport is commonly referred to as Amerigo Vespucci Airport, a name derived from the local Italian merchant and cartographer. The airport’s original name is Peretola, and which is a name still in use today. In Italian, it could be referred to as Aeroporto di Firenze. It is situated in the territory of Sesto Fiorentino, 4 km from the city center of Firenze, and is one of the two main airports in Tuscany region. The other being Galileo Galilei International, situated nearby Pisa. Over the past few years it has increased their passenger numbers per year to over one and a half million. Large improvements and expansions have also taken place to accommodate the higher numbers of passengers.
The official IATA code is FLR, and its ICAO code is LIRQ. Coordinates are LAT 43°48'35"N - LONG 11°12'14"E. The airport consists of two terminal buildings, one handling arrivals and the other dedicated to departures, and a single macadam runway with a length of 1,688 meters and a width of 30 meters. Airplanes landing here will turn around at the end of the runway and return to the parking areas near the terminal buildings, which is a common procedure of smaller airports. After the latest renovations, the arrivals terminal is equipped to handle 1,400 passengers, and the departures terminal approximately 900 passengers. There are twenty-three Check-in counters and ten gates.
Although a smaller airport compared to some others in Italy, Florence Airport is served by numerous airline companies. Travelers can arrive from anywhere in the world, and can also reach any destination from the airport. Meridiana Fly offers flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cagliari, Catania, Helsinki, London-Gatwick and Madrid, while Belle Air flies to Tirana. Air France operated by Airlinair flies to Lyon, Air Berlin has flights to Stuttgart, Alitalia flies to Rome-Fiumicino, and Cimber Sterling offers flights to Copenhagen. Other airlines include Elbafly, KLM, Lufthansa, Carpatair, Flybaboo and Austrian Airlines.
The airport started out in a different location, at Campo di Marte, as the first flight field in 1910. Since this area become more populated with houses, a more suitable location was needed, and it was finally decided to build the airport on the plain between Florence and Sestro Fiorentino, in the locality named as ‘Cipresso del Nistro’. By the early Thirties, it was well established in this area. During the later Thirties the first enlargements were made, extending it towards Castello, and the building of an asphalt runway. Between 1940 and 1980, various passenger flights were made available to Rome, Venice and Milan. During the early Eighties it was again renovated, and the company of Saf, today known as AdF, became the airport’s operating company. The length of the runway was increased, and the lighting of the runway was improved. The terminal was re-built as well.
Over the next few years it acquired its name as ‘Amerigo Vespucci’, and both the arrivals and departure terminals were inaugurated. A new car park was added in 1994 and the departure terminal was enlarged in 1996. Regular flights were now available to and from Florence airport, and passenger numbers were steadily increasing each year. Further improvements once more took place from 1999 to bring its current capabilities of handling over two million passengers per year. The passenger count for 2009 was 1,667,318. This was one of the first Italian airports to receive the UNI EN ISO 9001/2000 certification for the quality of its services, and was certified by the ENAC on the 30th November, 2004, to show their compliance with the safety requirements prescribed by the construction and operation regulations. A Safety Management System is in place to ensure that all activities carried out are done according to the safety regulations and requirements.
Aeroclub di Firenze offers training for private pilots’ licenses, which is a course consisting of technical instruction and flight practice. Students should be at least 16 years old and have passed a ‘first class medical examination’. Aerotaxi is another company operating, and they have been offering air rental and air taxi services since 1978. They have a fleet consisting of twin-engine jets of the latest models. The jets can fly to any destination in Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. Delta Aerotaxi is also available for panoramic flights over Florence and the hills of the Chianti region. They have a flight school as well, with courses for the qualification of all types of pilots’ licenses.
This airport is modern and well equipped with all the amenities and facilities required for an international airport. Disabled passengers will find the airport accessible, and corporate passengers can make use of the business and conference facilities in the Departures building. These facilities include the Masaccio VIP Lounge, which is equipped with a work area, computers, access to the internet, telephones, office equipment and newspapers in various languages. The Arrivals terminal also features a spacious meeting room and presentation equipment if required. Currency exchange, banking facilities and ATMs are available, as well as first aid facilities, a lost property desk and left luggage facilities. Passengers will also enjoy the wide variety of dining and shopping opportunities.
Further information about Florence Airport and tourism in the area is available at the information points in the Arrivals terminal. They are open from 08:30 to 18:30 with friendly staff members who will be happy to assist you.
You can see below selection of Florence Airport flight time’s destinations and which Airlines fly.