Rome Fiumicino “Leonardo da Vinci” International Airport
Rome Fiumicino (FCO/LIRF) or Rome Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is the main International airport out of the three (Fiumicino, Rome Ciampino and Rome Urbe Airport - Coming soon) to serve the eternal city and the surrounding area, at only 55 minutes by direct train or 35 minutes by using the highway system.
Rather unfortunately, FCO was the “playground” for hijackers starting from the late 60s up until the late 80s, due to the lax security measures that were implemented at the time.
Being the largest airport in Italy, Fiumicino is the country’s gateway for flights to 6 continents (7 when Qantas’ thrice-weekly Sydney-Perth-Rome will commence in July 2022) and this can occasionally make for some interesting routes, such as Ethiopian’s daily Milano - Rome - Addis Ababa route, Singapore Airline’s Rome - Copenhagen - Singapore A350 service or Air Europa’s 787 services between Rome and Madrid.
Terminals and Gates
Terminal 1 is the main terminal at the airport, consisting of 24 gates, and 50 remote stands. As a side note, most of these gates were of the former T2, which was closed in 2017, to make way for the northern expansion of T1. This is where Alitalia & Alitalia CityLine had a significant presence before the company closed shop and was replaced by ITA Airways (which is Alitalia, under a new name & administration)
From this terminal, all regional & Schengen flights depart from the gates & remote stands, located next to the Alitalia maintenance hangers (Imagine spawning here, once the airport receives 3D Buildings!!!)
Currently, T1 is closed for modernization work and is set to re-open in the summer of 2022. In the meantime, all flights have been transferred to the bigger T3.
Terminal 3 is the home of all international carriers & ITA Airways long-haul flights.
I won’t bore you with the specifics of the terminal, but believe me, it is big in size. Usually, a walk from the western side of the terminal to the east side, where the security screening and passport control area takes around 20-25 minutes.
T3 also features a satellite concourse, which is accessible by train. Here, flights to non-Schengen destinations (Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Ireland, and the UK) depart from here. Due to a lack of duty-free shops and restaurants in the satellite concourse, it is generally advised to sort out everything in the main terminal area, as there is no way to regain access to the terminal building (essentially, passengers from arriving flights are bussed to the main terminal, whilst departing passengers are transported there via sky train)
Due to the “temporary” closure of T5, all flights to North America & Israel have been moved here and given their separate check-in desks, security screening, and additional screening gates.
On the night of the 7th of May 2015, a suspected short circuit in the electrical systems of one of the bar stalls in the duty-free triggered a massive blase, which caused the complete closure of T3 to departures.
Luckily, there were no victims, however, the blase was so devastating, that the whole terminal had to be closed and built from scratch - offering an excuse to modernize it.
Here is a full list of the commercial & cargo airlines that fly into Fiumicino Airport.
Delta Air Lines
LOT Polish Airlines
Middle East Airlines
Norwegian Air Shuttle
Royal Air Maroc
Swiss International Airlines
TAP Air Portugal
Poste Air Cargo
Note: Runway 16C/34C was closed in 2011 during the extension of runway 16L/34R and now is designated as taxiway Delta
Measuring a distance of 10,856ft or 3,309m, Runway 25 handles the majority of traffic outgoing traffic of the planes - mostly departures.
It can also be used as a landing runway, especially during the night hours between 23.00 and 05.50, because of a nighttime landing ban on R34L & R34R, as the threshold of R34L is less than 1km distance from the town of Fiumicino, which makes for some breathtaking scenes when the emirates A380 departs from R16L, and the final approach of R34R passes over a residential complex.
Due to the awkward positioning of R07, it should come as no surprise that both landings and takeoffs are forbidden.
16R/34L and 16L/34R
Both measuring at 13,000ft (3,900m), 16R/34L & 16L/34R are the longest runways at the airport. They both feature ILS, capable of CAT I & CAT II landings. On a normal day, landings are performed on 16L & 16R, whilst R34L and 34R are used when the wind blows in the opposite direction.
As a little bonis, I decided to talk about the former Runway 16C/34C. At 11,811ft (or 3,600m) of distance, R16C/34C was supposed to act as a backup runway to the adjacent 16L/34R, however, as you could problably see in the chart, taxiing back to the gate can be quite complicated, unless the plane is landing on 16C.
In 2011, after an apparent lack of use (the details were never specified), a decision was made to close the runway and convert it into taxiway Delta.
Departures & Arrivals
- Milano Malpensa
- Milano Linate
- Rome Urbe Airport
- Firenze Airport