Air Transport World

Alitalia reaps benefits from 'City of the Skies' tech complex. (maintenance service in Flumincino, Italy)

Alitalia reaps benefits from "City of the Skies' tech complex

Here at Leonardo da Vinci Airport, on ground that was once Ostia, the seaport of ancient Rome, Alitalia in the last several years has put together what it calls "City of the Skies'--a technical complex designed to serve the Italian flag carrier's needs past the year 2000. It is, incidentally, the largest industrial complex in central Italy.

Obviously, properly trained and motivated technical people and effective management are essential to superior operation, but just as essential are proper facilities and equipment. That the combination is working for Alitalia is attested to by the carrier's systemwide technical dispatch reliability of better than 99%.

Occupying some 700,000 square meters, of which 155,000 are roofed, the City of the Skies is more than just a technical center. The complex also has a flight commissary capable of preparing six million meals a year, a recently enlarged cargo center with 420 stacker bins for storing pallets, and a crew briefing center.

The technical center includes seven hangars--five for maintenance, one for overhaul and one for stripping/painting/ washing; 40 workshops; an engine/APU facility; a training center; a ramp and line complex, and an industrial-size wastewater anti-pollution system.

Various services offered

Some 4,000 Alitalia technical employes labor at the City of the Skies, supporting the carrier's fleet of about 80 aircraft and training cockpit and cabin crews, currently numbering about 1,500 pilots and 4,000 cabin attendants. They also perform similar services for Alitalia's associates in the Atlas consortium--Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia and Sabena; for ATI, Alitalia's domestic airline subsidiary; and for unaffiliated third-party customers, some 50 airlines in all. Outside sales in 1985 offset a little more than half of Alitalia's maintenance and engineering budget--income of lire 201 billion against expense of lire 400 billion. …

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