In order to double the number of passenger, better connections with the rest of the country are crucial. And as of now reaching Rome FCO from another city takes so much time that many prefer to fly from their own local airports and stop-over in London, Paris, Madrid, Munich, Amsterdam, Zurich or Frankfurt.
The Fiumicino airport has been connected by train to Rome’s city centre since the 1990 World Cup but these connections are not very convenient for those who are coming from out of town.
The current rail tracks can already host high-speed trains. The initial target is December when two daily trains from north-eastern Italy will reach Fiumicino. Leaving from Venice and stopping in Padua, Bologna and Florence (and Rome Termini), they’ll be able to massively increase the number of people who will want to take advantage of Rome’s intercontinental flights.
These travelers will actually be able to check-in at the railway station or during their train ride. And when they will buy their air ticket, the cost of the train will already be included in the fare. It will therefore be possible to buy a Newark-Padua ticket or a Florence-Beijing one.
With the new arrangements and schedules, going from downtown Florence to the Leonardo da Vinci airport will only take 1 hour and 50 minutes, from Bologna it’s just 2 hours and 5 minutes with journey times in both cases being cut by about 45 minutes/1 hour.
A skyrocketing rise of passengers from Southern and Eastern Asia will also be possible thanks to Etihad’s purchase of 49% of the Italian flag carrier, Alitalia. A high-speed connection between Fiumicino airport and Rome is actually one of the many conditions set out by the Abu Dhabi carrier for the deal.
The first railway company to operate the Fiumicino airport bound trains will be Trenitalia with FrecceArgento trains, the state-owned one, but the private Italo will also join the project soon.
The Fiumicino high-speed connection will then also be extended to southern Italy with trains from Naples. Later on the other Italian intercontinental airports will be part of the initiative, Venice and Milan Malpensa but it’s now clear that the country’s main hub will be Rome FCO. A few years ago, especially when the northern-Italian party Northern League was in the government coalition, it seemed Milan MXP would be the main intercontinental Italian airport but this is no longer the case: projects for a third runway have just been trashed and Etihad is clearly focusing on Fiumicino even if the 2015 Milan Expo is about to start – 1st of May, next year.
ANYTHING FOR LOCALS?
We just have one question after laying out these fantastic programs: how about improving the connections from Rome to the airport even for Romans and Rome based visitors? The number of high speed trains will necessarily be very limited and they will only stop in Termini, therefore we need something else for the city of Rome: a metro line with frequent trains and cheap fares is also urgently required to reach FCO in a more convenient way. Thanks!