maritime connections, request for an extension to 30 September of the summer timetables – Il Giornale di Pantelleria

maritime connections, request for an extension to 30 September of the summer timetables – Il Giornale di Pantelleria
maritime connections, request for an extension to 30 September of the summer timetables – Il Giornale di Pantelleria
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We receive and publish a full note by Aurelio Mustaccioli

Last night in the council chamber of the Municipality of Pantelleria, Marshal Picone illustrated the recent important discoveries of the historical office of the Air Force to the citizens of Pantelleria, showing exceptional documents and photographs relating to the project for the expansion of the airport and the construction of the military hangar. made between 1937 and 1938.

The documents have shown the grandeur of the work which involved more than 3000 workers who have forever transformed the orography of the fertile Mugna district (which means large garden), an area of ​​about 200 hectares, creating the current airport space.

The numerous photographs found represent an important historical document that illustrates in detail the construction phases of the grandiose hangar on two floors of more than three hundred meters in length, capable of hosting 20 fighters and 19 bombers.
The documents found also disprove the attribution of the hangars to Nervi who is not involved in the project.

Today, 80 years after those years, one can try to take stock of that colossal work, evaluating the pros and cons of Mussolini’s design, which, attributing military strategic value to the island of Pantelleria, aspired to make it the aircraft carrier of the mediterranean.

What legacy has he left us?

There is no doubt that important infrastructural works have been carried out today still available for civil use, such as the airport and a dense road network.
On the other hand, it is evident how the militarization of the island has transformed Pantelleria into a primary military objective that led to the Anglo-American bombing of ’43 and the complete destruction of the city of Pantelleria with very serious economic and social consequences for a thriving island but from fragile economy


Furthermore, the choice of the airport site, an alternative to more “simple” sites such as that of the Arenella adjacent to the sea, led to the destruction of an important fertile district.
And it should also be considered that the concentration of resources on infrastructures dedicated to aeronautics did not allow, for example, the construction of a port that could be used in the future for civil purposes, and the lack of which has always been one of the sore points of the ‘island.

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Today, the military strategic importance of the island is objectively low, and this is testified by the very modest aeronautical operations.
The country’s defensive air and naval coverage is in fact ensured by the most important Sicilian bases, and military activities in Panelleria are ultimately limited to the management of migratory flows from Africa.

The airport infrastructures therefore seem to be real cathedrals in the desert, divided in their management between the navy, military air force and ENAC (civil aviation), and limited in their activity.
The marina manages practically unused spaces and has a hangar that houses only the 118 helicopter.
The aeronautics has even more important spaces available and manages the imposing hangar, which is practically always empty.
ENAC manages an airport with two operational runways and a new airport, but has practically non-existent general aeronautical activities and extremely limited commercial traffic (180,000 passages in 2021) equal to half of those of Lampedusa, four times smaller and with only one operational track.

I believe it is time therefore that a new, less fragmented management of these infrastructures is set up, under the supervision of the municipality of Pantelleria, so that they become a development tool for the island’s economy and a Source of income for the Pantelleria people, who are ultimately the last owners of Pantelleria.

Aurelio Mustaccioli

The article is in Italian

Tags: maritime connections request extension September summer timetables Giornale Pantelleria

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