Also known as Falcone-Borsellino, Palermo Airport is situated on the northern coast of Sicily. The airport is situated approximately 32 km or 20 miles to the north-west of Palermo, which is Sicily’s capital city. Punta Raisi is also closely situated to Cinisi, Pozzillo, Terrasini and Torre Muzza. The International Airport Association (IATA) uses the official code of PMO. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) used the code LICJ.
Palermo Airport or Punta Raisi, is one of the busiest airports in Italy. In 2008 it handled approximately 4,446,142 passengers. It is considered to be a modern transportation hub that provides one of the main gateways to Italy. The airport consists of a well-equipped, single terminal and two runways. The longest runway is 10912 feet, or 3326 meters long. The airport is served by 20 different airline companies, the largest of which is Wind Jet, with 28% of the destinations. Other airlines that operate from Punta Raisi include Air One, Air Berlin, Easyjet, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Transvania and Alitalia, just to mention a few.
In regards to the names, Falcone-Borsellino was appointed in memory of two leading anti-mafia judges. Their names were Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, and they were murdered by the mafia in 1992. Within the airport, outside one of the entrances to the Departure hall, Sicilian sculpture Tommaso Geraci created a plaque featuring their portraits. The plaque is 6 feet 3 inches in diameter and is set into a mosaic of Sicily. The inscription written along with it is: ‘Giovanni Falcone – Paolo Borsellino – Gli Altri – L'orgoglio della Nuova Sicilia (Giovanni Falcone – Paolo Borsellino – The Others – The Pride of the New Sicily)’.
The history of Punta Raisi dates back to 1953. This was the same year in which the ‘Autonomous Consortium for Palermo Airport’ came into existence. The airport was to replace the already existing, ex-military of Bocca di Falco, as it was not managing to handle the increasing levels of traffic. Another location was also considered for the airport, and this was along the Gulf of Palermo, between Aspra and Acqua dei Corsari, but Punta Raisi was chosen by the Consortium. During the approval process there were concerns for the access road which connected the airport to Palermo (passing over four level crossings of the Palermo-Trapani railway line), as well the wind turbulence that could be caused by the surrounding mountains. Initially, in 1960, the airport opened with two runways, one of which was a taxiway. Later, it became apparent that the winds from the south did indeed pose problems, and another , transversal runway was constructed. Around this time a new terminal was also planned for construction. It opened eventually in the 1990’s.
Punta Raisi Airport is maintained and managed by GESAP. GESAP is responsible for all the infrastructures and systems, and also provides various services such as security and surveillance, co-ordination and public information systems to third parties. GESAP was awarded an ‘Airport Certificate’ by the ENAC in May 2004. This award recognizes that Palermo Airport is in full compliance with the ENAC’s regulations. Customer care, satisfaction and complaints are handled by the Customer Services Department, which is the founding principle of GESAP’s policies for ensuring a quality experience for passengers. Customer Services has two main goals: Customer care and customer satisfaction.
Punta Raisi Airport features two exclusive VIP lounges. The Gesap VIP Lounge is found on the first floor of the terminal, and is well-equipped with satellite TV, national newspapers and up-to-date information on flight schedules. VIP card holders can enjoy a free break at the self service restaurant. Meetings can also be arranged. The other VIP lounge is the ‘Verga’ Alitalia, and this lounge is open from 05:30 to 21:30.
Besides the VIP lounges, Palermo Airport hosts many cafés, bars and restaurants, as well as shops and kiosks which sell duty-free products, souvenirs and crafts. All banking facilities are provided for, as well as postal services. Ticket offices are found on the 1st floor of the terminal (Gesap and Alitalia), and other enquiries can be made at the information desk near the Gesap Ticket office. Information provided includes flight information, procedures, special assistance for minors and reduced mobility passengers, airlines, and commercial activities. The information desk is open from 6:00 to 24:00.
Below is a sample of routes flight times and Airlines that fly.