Malpensa International Airport is located about 25 miles (40km) away from the city of Milan in the Varese Province of Lombardy, Italy. It was opened in 1998 and is the busiest and largest among the three airports serving Milan. The other two airports are Milan Lineate Airport and Milan Bergamo Airport.

The airport is owned and operated by SEA. It includes two 3,920m runways with a third runway expected to be operational by 2014.

Malpensa airport handled over 16m passengers in 2011. The airport also handled 440,300t of cargo in 2011, more than 50% of the overall cargo handled by airports in Italy.

Malpensa Airport terminal and facilities

“Malpensa airport handled over 16m passengers in 2011.”

Terminal 1 of Malpensa Airport covers an area of 262,300m². It includes 256 check-in counters, 65 boarding gates, 20 airbridges and satellites at both ends. The terminal also features a railway station. It has a capacity of handling 22 million passengers annually and caters to both domestic, international and charter flights.

Terminal 2 of the airport covers an area of 55,000m². It includes 57 check-in counters, 28 boarding gates and a satellite. The terminal has the capacity to handle six million passengers annually. It currently serves EasyJet and has provisions for low-cost carriers.

The two terminals are located 808m apart and are connected through a bus shuttle operating every seven minutes.

The airport also features a cargo city with a freight handling capacity of 550,000t. The facility has 20 cargo carriers in operation and includes 50,000m2 of warehouse space.

The airport is equipped with a Siemens tray conveyor baggage handling system. The system includes X-raying stations and can handle around 13,000 items of baggage per hour.

Expansion of the Italian airport

In 2009, SEA announced an expansion programme for the airport to increase its passenger handling capacity to 42m by 2015. The airport is expected to handle an extra three million passengers when Milan hosts the Universal Expo in 2015.

The proposed projects includes the construction of a third satellite at Terminal 1, the expansion of the cargo city and the construction of a third runway and a new terminal. These expansion projects are expected to be completed by 2017 and will require an estimated investment of €15bn.

The third satellite at Terminal 1 will improve passenger flow and aircraft service. It will include 8,500m² of commercial area, a VIP lounge for A380 aircraft and dedicated loading bridges from the lounge. The satellite is expected to be completed in 2013.

The third runway which forms the core of the expansion plan will be 2,400m long and 45m wide. Construction of the new runway is expected to commence in 2014 and be completed by 2016.

Expansion of the cargo city will double the freight handling capacity of the airport to one million tonnes of cargo annually. The project includes the construction of new aircraft hangers and parking areas covering an area of 48,000m². The expansion also includes the construction of a 500,000m² logistics park and new office buildings covering an area of 10,000m². Expansion works for the cargo city are expected to commence in 2014.

The expansion programme also includes the improvement of existing rail lines and theconstruction of a monorail to link all three terminals. Improvements to the existing rail lines form part of the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T) priority project.

Key players involved Malpensa airport expansion

“In 2009, SEA announced an expansion programme for the airport to increase its passenger handling capacity to 42m by 2015.”

DC Airports provided the layout plans for the new satellite.

Codelfa Spa is responsible for construction of the third satellite and the third terminal. Fugro Loadtest carried out foundation works for the project under a subcontract from Codelfa.

Dorsch Gruppe provided site analysis, terminal and satellite design and master plans for the expansion project.