Asoc Stories

The Airport of Crotone: Regular Services Also Thanks to the Young Monitors of ASOC


The "Pitagora" airport in Crotone was the first airport in Calabria, but it has also been the subject of much debate and protests that have caught the attention of the public over the years. It has also been the focus of civic monitoring research by students from “Mario Ciliberto” high school, the Lost Flight team, which in 2018 brought to light the events of the company managing the airport. The company eventually went bankrupt, proving incapable of handling the infrastructure and administering public resources.

foto di gruppo studenti all'aeroporto di CrotoneAfter years of unsuccessful bids and airlines backing out due to few bookings, today the “Pitagora” airport demonstrates its ability to record increases in the number of passengers, such as the June 2023 surge of 33% (totaling 24,024 passengers) compared to the same month of the previous year.

Regulatory adjustments have allowed - as announced by Sacal, the company that manages Calabria's airports - the regularity of the service, starting with the new Crotone-Rome route operated by Sky Alps. In previous years, the airport administrators had been entangled in legal issues, and in 2021, the court in Crotone issued a verdict of acquittal, stating that the alleged offense did not exist. The accusation was simple bankruptcy, after the company “Aeroporto Sant’Anna spa” was declared bankrupt in April 2015.

studenti a lavoro in classe

The decision to monitor the project "Regulatory Adjustment of the Passenger Terminal" - as explained by Professor Rossella Frandina - was due to the challenging situation faced by the Crotone airport, which was only being used for charter flights of the Crotone football team. The regulatory adjustment works of the passenger terminal, following the monitoring by the Lost Flight team, are now reported to be completed.

The team of students, achieving the third position in the 2017-2018 edition of ASOC, stood out for the accuracy of their analysis and the strong involvement with the local community. The young people from Calabria effectively represented the challenges faced by their fellow citizens in the realm of transportation. It is not about quantifying the damage to Calabrian tourism but rather addressing a matter of vital importance for those who live in that territory and return there if they are away. This was the warning from the students: to confront an issue no longer to be postponed as a seasonal concern but to prioritize it in the local and national political agenda.

“Talking about transportation in Crotone is crucial,” says Ileana Condito, Social Media Manager of Team Lost Flight, "especially in the absence of an electrified railway line, as this affects everyone's life. From that experience, I decided to make it a life choice. I worked first in the Harbor Master's Office, and now I have taken an exam for the Finance Department. ASOC was an important chapter for me; I had to choose which side to be on and, above all, whether to remain silent or assert my rights.

At the time, the investigation delved into the reasons behind the closure of the airport following the bankruptcy of Sant’Anna spa. An incident that brought to light the precariousness of the regional transportation system.

ingresso aeroporto di CrotoneAmong the key findings of the Monithon team's report, it is emphasized that 'the modernization of the Passenger Terminal was driven by the need to accommodate a growing number of passengers in a region with strong tourist appeal, especially given the limited substitutability with road and rail transport to Rome and Naples. The conducted analyses, which also considered the socioeconomic and programmatic context of the Region, highlighted the crucial role assigned to air transport in previous years to overcome Calabria's state of marginalization, thereby promoting economic development. Furthermore, it underscored the necessity of outlining the development of each airport within a framework of a highly integrated multi-airport regional system, closely interconnected with other modes of transport, while assigning each airport a distinct functional and traffic specialization.

The decision to close the airport, as reported by the daily newspaper Quotidiano del sud in October 2016, came despite the positive passenger movement data in 2015, with over 270,000 people passing through the Crotone airport. Today, the situation has changed, but it still remains a tourist airport, serving only three routes: Crotone-Milan (Orio al Serio), Crotone-Rome, and Crotone-Bologna.

imbarco sky alpsAt present, Professor Frandina concludes, there is an attempt to overcome the tourist-oriented nature of the Pythagorean airport by trying to make it operational throughout the year and not just for two months. Sacal announced that work is underway to improve the operation of the Sant'Anna airport and the possibility of extending operating hours until at least 11:00 PM”.

Show monitored project Go to ASOC team's blog

Find out other ASOC stories