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Air cargo a new frontier for Sicilian produce

The Minister for Territorial cohesion and southern Italy, Claudio De Vincenti, attended the "Cargo: prospettiva di sviluppo" (Cargo: development perspectives) convention organised on 25th October by the Comiso Municipality at the Pio La Torre airport.

Comiso airport is located just a few km from the Vittoria fresh produce market, a hub that generates approximately €300 million every year. What is more, the fact that it is also near the production area between Licata and Protopalo highlighted the need for air cargo transfers in the future.

Just think that this territory produces over 40% of Italian table tomatoes as well as grapes from Mazzarrone (sold on the global market) and soft fruit.

These products must reach far away destinations and, being perishable, they need safe quick transfers.

The minister commented by saying that "air cargo can play a fundamental role for many fresh products, not only for transfers in Italy but all over the world. The cargo function can be carried out by Comiso airport in connection with Malpensa airport, as the latter is our main cargo hub due to its international connections."

"We must verify finances first, as we are talking about €5 million in total. We also need to submit our project to obtain the necessary Community and regional resources. And we need private resources as well, as we need logistics operators to invest in the necessary facilities within the airport (cold chain, platforms etc.). Produce must arrive at its destination in the best condition possible."

Of course the time frame won't be short, but the hope is that 'Italian habits' do not take over. Markets are increasingly dynamic and demanding and request high-quality goods which they are willing to pay well. Delaying the activation of air cargo transfers would mean missing out on a lot of chances for this part of Sicily.

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