Italian Aerospace and Airport Development

What do we know about the Italian Aerospace and Airport Development sector? Before the start of the Trade Mission we did extensive research on these two sectors in Italy.

Read the full outcome here in Dutch

The Aerospace and Defense sector experienced a turnover of € 15,3 billion in 2016 (almost 4 times the Dutch sector), of which the Aerospace industry (civil and Air Force) represents an important share of almost € 12 billion. With this result Italy is at the seventh place in the world ranking and fourth in Europe.

The Italian Aerospace and Defense industry is of strategic importance for different regions in Italy and it will only increase in the coming years.

The total expenditure in R&D in 2016 was € 1,2 billion. About 50% of production is exported, and this percentage is growing. Obviously, Leonardo plays a major role here, however export is also increasing among SMEs.

Italy has 11 aerospace districts throughout the country, the most important in Piedmont (Turin), Lombardy (Milan), Lazio (Rome), Campania (Naples) and Apulia (Bari), but also in Basilicata, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Sardinia, Tuscany and Umbria. The defining characteristic of all the aerospace districts is the close cluster cooperation between the local governments, universities, institutions and companies.


Italy is the 5th largest aviation market in Europe: in the period January-September 2017 there were more than 164,5 million passengers transported (+7,3% compared to the same period in 2016) on 1,5 million flights and more than 1 million tonnes of cargo. Italy has 44 certified airports for commercial transport including scheduled flights, charters and air taxis. In addition, there are 11 purely military airports and other military airports also open to civil flights.

The growth of the Italian airport system is mainly due to the increase in intra-EU flights (+7,62%) and intercontinental flights (+6,24%). National flights grew by 2,2% in 2016.

The 44 certified airports in Italy are managed by 37 companies that are currently investing more than 4 billion euros for the 2016-2021 period, mostly coming from private parties.

The developments and investments in Italian airports certainly offer opportunities for Dutch businesses.

 Also read our other blogs