Getting to Cagliari Airport (CAG)
Cagliari Airport is well known as Cagliari-Elmas Airport, as it is situated in the area of Elmas, only 7 km northwest of Cagliari. It is on the Italian island of Sardinia, and is an international airport handling more than three million passengers per year. The Italian name for it is Aeroporto Mario Mameli, and its official airport code is CAG.
Although Cagliari is not connected to the other parts of Sardinia Island by any huge superhighways, the airport can easily be reached by motor vehicle. Various provincial and state roads lead to the airport, and the largest of these is the SS131. This road is also called the Carlo Felice Highway, named after the Savoy King who contributed to its construction. Another road worthy of note is the SS130. Coordinates of the airport are noted as Longitude: 9°3'39"E, and Latitude: 39°14'49"N.
The Carlo Felice highway links Cagliari and its airport to Porto Torres, and also passes through Oristano and Sassari. This highway is considered to be Sardinia Island’s main dual-carriage artery. Motorists traveling to the airport from Iglesias, or other areas in the east, should use the SS130.
The airport was recently upgraded in 2003, with much improvements and additions to the existing airport terminal building. The terminal was expanded, and now has six loading bridges for boarding passengers. After these renovations the airport is now able to handle a capacity of four million passengers per year, a goal which could easily be reached in 2010. Cagliari Airport is the most important in Sardinia, and its new infrastructure is one of the most modern in Europe. The new terminal building combines the distinctive features of major international airports with the comfort and accessibility of smaller sized airports. The building is mostly constructed from white limestone, a material which is commonly used in many of Cagliari’s buildings and monuments, and its large glass surfaces and metallic cover blend in perfectly with the surrounding environment by reflecting the natural colors.
The terminal building consists of three levels. The ground floor is dedicated to international and domestic arrivals, while the first floor is used for all departure flights. The top level mainly consists of the airport company’s administration offices, but the restaurant and Business Center is also located on the top floor. The Business Center covers an area of over 800 square meters, and offers a conference room which can seat up to 180 people. There are also smaller offices available for more private business meetings. Various equipment is available, such as screens, overhead projectors, ADSL internet connections and DVD, CD or VHS players. The Business Center is connected to the food and beverage area by a dedicated passage. Business passengers may use the facilities of Cagliari Airport’s two VIP lounges as well, offering open self-service bars, satellite television, WiFi internet connections and flight information monitors.
The Arrivals level of the airport features a secured area accessible only by staff and passengers for baggage collection and ‘lost and found’ offices, and in the International Arrivals area there are Police, Customs and Guardia di Finanza offices. The common area of the airport offers various useful amenities, such as the full service bank of Bancomat, a postal office and first aid station. Throughout this area there are also plenty of shopping and dining facilities. The Departures area consists of 42 Check-in desks, the two VIP lounges and a lounge which offers special assistance to disabled passengers, the ‘Sala Amica’. Other facilities available on this level include the airline ticket counters, an exhibition gallery and a chapel. The secure boarding area features a few shops, WiFi internet connections and a coffee shop which has a lovely view over the runway.
Passengers who would like to reach the airport have a few alternative transport options other than their own vehicle. There is a bus service operated by ARST Azienda Regionale Trasporti, with buses that travel between the airport and the ARST bus station in Downtown Cagliari. This bus station is also situated alongside the main Trenitalia railway station, and passengers arriving in Cagliari by train will need to catch this bus to the airport, as there is no actual train station on site. The ARST Bus Station is located in Piazza Matteotti, in Cagliari. Bus tickets can be purchased from the MacDonald’s next to the bus station. There are also many taxis available in Cagliari. Taxi ranks are usually found at all the major train and bus stations, and main tourist and public areas in the city. Although more expensive, many passengers enjoy the quick and convenient services of the taxis to reach the airport. Various private companies offer shuttle bus services or airport transfer services as well.
The airport offers general and tourist information at the information desks within the terminal building, and they have a comprehensive website with all the airport’s details at http://www.cagliariairport.it/en/.