Reliable info wanted - Comiso Airport opening soon?

Liamo Image
12/14/2009 - 04:56

Hi there - just wondering whether anyone had further info about when Comiso Airport, Sicily will open properly to low cost carriers. I know most of the work has been done and there's talk of another airport going into Agrigento but Comiso is much handier to us. (I'm Dublin based and I spoke with the chap from Ryanair responsible for new airports and he said they were really keen to get into Comiso - they opened another 13 routes out of Trapani, Sicily recently...) Any reliable info would be appreciated?



The airport itself is 'ready', what lacks is the will of Catania to open it.  The opening is scheduled for April - but the problem is that by giving the running of the airport to GESAC which runs Catania airport they have shot themselves in the foot as Catania, obvioulsy, doesnt want competition and really only wants a spare runway to use if they cant use Catania.  Catania airport is due to close in 2010 to lengthen the piste, and GESCA would like to divert all flights to Comiso for 3 months, instead of Sigonella, and for this reason dont want to open the airport to general traffic as it would hamper their operations.   It is for this reason that a contract with Ryanair has been left dangling, as obviously Ryanair wont want a contract that excludes them from the airport in peak season.  HOwever, the airport is owned 51% by the province of Ragusa and they are really keen to get it open and have worked very ahrd to get things done - the one thorn in the side is the Assessor for tourism now doesnt want Ryanair but wants to make it an international airport and therefore in direct competition with Catania - so on that basis it would never open.   Optimistically you can say that COmiso will open in APril, but whether it will is another question.  It all comes down to when Catania airport will close, and how much political will there is it get it open - at the moment the link roads will not even be started until 2011.  

At the World Travel Market expo that took place in London last November the Tourism Assessore of Sicily stood up in front of a crowd of journalists and said that  a. He was in discussions with RyanAir and was hopeful they would use Comiso b. The airport would open in March sitting next to him where several Ragusa province top-guys. Unfortunately, in Italian politics that does not a guarantee make because Ram is absolutely correct about the powerplay between Catania and Ragusa. I wouldn't be placing any bets. A recent development that is real, however, is that the motorway connecting Catania to the South-East has been significantly improved cutting trip time from Airport to something like Modica by at least 30 minutes. 

In reply to by Ronald

  Ron you're a gentleman thanks for the reply - nows not the time to be holding the breath I think.  I travelled on that motorway last mth and it was indeed a great improvement.  The Tomtom told me I was merrily ploughing through a field so I may have to part with some shekels to have that updated... As a foreigner I'm reluctant to complain about the unique way of doing things that occur in Sicily - grateful instead for the day God introduced me to the place. Regards Liam

Hello Liam I was wondering the same recently on a visit over, I have travelled the new motorway, and it is indeed a major improvement, finising at Rossolini. I travel to Marzememi often, and like you am Dublin based. ( Great informative replies above ). Regards   Brian.

If you say the airport is ready but they didn't open it yet from a business view this is pure money loss. I hope they open it to and I hope the low cost flights will be low cost as they say they would be and if the airport has some extra car parking space it would be perfect.Rogger, SFO Parking

The airport has been signed over to SoAco which is the Catania management company.  The  government has acknowledged that the airport will be national and therefore the air traffic control and fire brigade at the expense of central govt and not the province, and the last bits of paper shuffling should be finished by the end of this month to allow for a summer 2010 opening.  Ryanair have officially expressed their desire to use Comiso as a hub.  Jet 2 want to fly and are waiting for the opening date.   Today the papers report that the govt want to close all small 'bonsai' airports -26 of them - which will no doubt cause alot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.  56 million spent, and still not open.  Contracts about to given out for the extension of the Catania- Gela up to Modica - the next 30km will connect Modica and Rosolini - and work should start this year.