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Bologna Airport for sustainability, achievements and future prospects


The survey on the perception of Bologna's airport system conducted by Istituto Piepoli has been presented: 94% of the survey sample considered Bologna Airport important to the development and well-being of the local area.

An airport capable of generating positive impacts on the city of Bologna, but also on the entire region and country, providing development opportunities for the tourism industry through increased traffic and being a source of pride for residents. Residents declare a need for an airport that responds to the growth in traffic with infrastructural upgrades and enhancement of the airport, maintaining a quality service, and at the same time express the need for greater attention to reducing the impact of operations on the city without, of course, limiting the development of an area in which the airport is a key driver.

This is the essence of the findings from the Survey on the public perception of Bologna's airport system, carried out by the Piepoli research institute at the request of Bologna Airport. An independent tool that the airport considered important to gather feedback on its operations and strengthen action to increasingly meet the demands of its users.

The survey was presented today at a joint press conference attended by the Chairman of Bologna Airport, Enrico Postacchini, the airport's CEO and Managing Director, Nazareno Ventola, and the Head of Development of Istituto Piepoli, Emanuele Bussi.


The study, an integrated qualitative-quantitative report, consisted of a qualitative phase involving two online focus groups with Bologna residents and a quantitative phase with 1,500 CATI/CAWI interviews with residents from the city and province of Bologna and from a number of municipalities in the Modena area. The surveys refer to September and November 2023.


There were three main strands to the study.

In the first strand - The perception of quality of life in the municipality and the area where people live - 89% of residents are satisfied (score 6-10) and 11% dissatisfied (score 1-5) with reference to their neighbourhood. The sample is then invited to voluntarily give reasons for their satisfaction/dissatisfaction. The personal satisfaction of living in an area considered 'liveable' (27%) and the presence of services/infrastructures (16%) are among the main reasons given by satisfied residents. The main elements of dissatisfaction instead concern the low-level safety (20%) and the lack of services/transport (15%).

In the second strand - The role of the airport - 94% of residents consider the airport important (score 6-10) to the development and well-being of the city of Bologna and the surrounding area; for 61% of the sample, the airport is very important (score 9-10). Only 6% of the sample consider it not very important (score 1-5). Furthermore, for the survey participants the presence of the airport generates positive effects (score 6-10) and very positive effects (score 9-10) on the city of Bologna (positive 97% and very positive 68%), on the regional area (positive 97% and very positive 66%), on the province of Bologna and surrounding area (positive 96% and very positive 64%), and on the country as a whole (positive 96% and very positive 61%).

The airport is also recognised as capable of having a positive impact (score 6-10) and very positive impact (score 9-10) on the development of tourism (positive 97% and very positive 70%), on economic development (positive 97% and very positive 66%) and on employment development (positive 96% and very positive 62%).

With regard to opinions and experience of the airport, residents agree that the airport is a source of pride (92% agree, of which 72% strongly agree), followed by it being a growing organisation that is evolving (91% agree, of which 67% strongly agree), offers quality services (91% agree, of which 66% strongly agree) and also offers services that improve residents' quality of life (90% agree, of which 65% strongly agree), as well as being an organisation that is attentive to residents' needs (89% agree, of which 63% strongly agree) and that it should increase the number of destinations (84% agree, of which 62% strongly agree).

The survey participants then highlight aspects on which the airport should work/take action. 39% point out the need to see improvements in infrastructure. 25% indicate sustainability and the need for action on the impact generated by air traffic and environmental impact. 19% state a need for more flights and connections and 17% demand action to improve road systems to reach the airport.

The third strand concerns public awareness of the measures put in place to mitigate the impact of operations on the local area.

By asking the survey participants about the mitigation initiatives put in place, the most well-known measure is the limitation on/reduction in the number of flights per hour (36%), followed by the use of runways furthest away from the city (25%) and anticipating the turning point to reduce circling over the city (22%).

ln keeping with the fundamental role attributed to the airport, 46% of the sample considers these solutions to reconcile airport development and community well-being to be fair and 36% would like new solutions that do not limit the airport's operations. 13% of the sample is not interested and only 5% consider the procedures insufficient.

“Bologna Airport went beyond its internal customer satisfaction survey tools and external, independent tools that periodically collect data on service quality”, Nazareno Ventola, Managing Director and General Manager of Bologna Airport, points out “and commissioned a reputable independent research institute, Istituto Piepoli, to conduct a perception survey of the airport's operations and impact. This involves listening even more closely to the needs of residents who use the airport and who share the area served with the airport. The findings indicate general satisfaction with the value created and development, with some adjustments to be made. The data will be used to more effectively target actions and efforts for the sustainable development of the airport”.

“We commissioned Istituto Piepoli, an authoritative independent research institute, to conduct a survey on the way our operations are perceived and their impact on the local area. The results paint a picture of general satisfaction, recognising the value that our airport brings to the community and the economic development of the region”, emphasises Enrico Postacchini, Chairman of Bologna Airport. “We are aware that there is room for improvement and corrective measures need to be implemented. The data collected will provide us with valuable insights to more precisely target our actions and efforts to promote sustainable development of the airport. We will continue to work with dedication and determination to ensure an increasingly efficient service focused on the needs of our users and the community we serve”.

“As an independent research institute", explains Emanuele Bussi, Head of Development at Istituto Piepoli, "we carried out a statistical survey, listening to the perceptions of the population of Bologna and the neighbouring provinces. The results provided a snapshot of the satisfaction and pride of local residents, revealing how central the airport's presence is to the economic development and well-being of the area (94%), with important effects on related industries, tourism and employment. Hopeful of further development of the airport in terms of the number of flights and destinations, residents highlight the need for infrastructural works to maintain a high quality service and reduce the impact on the city as much as possible”.

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