SAT Società Aeroporto del Tronto S.p.A.

This company’s mission is to promote, create and manage airfields, helicopter landing pads and airports within the province of Ascoli Piceno and Italy. Accordingly, it focuses on developing communications in its local area. In terms of the strategic areas identified by the group, the company falls under the ASE segment.  

Since its inception, the company has implemented an investment plan with the aim of building an airport mainly to serve the industrial site, with possible positive repercussions for the surrounding area, particularly in terms of the potential development of general aviation locally.

This project, which has become known as “Air Centre”, encompasses additional stages to potentially develop an aeronautic cluster in the area, involving various industrial and institutional operators, with positive impacts on the entire area.

Generally, the project pursued via SAT as an separate entity within MAG Group has three objectives:

The first objective is MAG group’s interest in having an airfield for the development of the ASE segment to which SAT belongs.

The group’s 2019 – 2023 business plan forecasts revenue of around €8.8 million in the fixed-wing aircraft industry, which would ensure recoverability of the investment in the airfield over the medium to long term.

The second objective relates to the effect the construction of an airfield would have on the local area which is lacking infrastructure, offering new transport opportunities.

The third objective is related to the possibility that, together with the helipad, the airfield is selected as the civil protection operating base. This would attract institutional attention given the increasing frequency of fires and the Marche Region’s current reliance on bases located in other regions.

Around 89%1 of the Marche Region is formed of hills or mountains, with over 30% covered by forest. Fires are more common in the summer months but changes in climate mean there is also a high risk in winter in times of drought. The regional authorities basically have jurisdiction in this area, though the main bodies involved in managing operations are the Corpo Forestale dello Stato (the Forest Department) (which was merged into the Carabinieri in 2017) and the Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco (the Fire Brigade).

In relation to forest fires, the fire brigade is fully operational. Unlike in the past, it uses aircraft owned by the Italian Republic, including 19 Canadairs and 12 helicopters located in 14 bases from Comiso to Genoa. There are also aircraft belonging to private companies that operate under tender, which have recently been the subject of debate and investigation by the antitrust authorities2.

The accumulated investments in the airfield at 30 September 2019 total approximately €7.2 million and relate to the construction of the airstrip in its current length of 1,499 metres, 800 metres of which is asphalted, with the remainder compacted surface.

Following a review of the investment plan carried out at the time the budget for the current year was prepared, final costs are estimated at approximately €0.2 million and relate to reinforcement works and works to control rainwater. Following a review of the works in terms of the group’s objectives, it has been decided not to extend the asphalt for the airstrip’s full length for the time being, as the current redefined configuration has all the functions needed to pursue the strategic objectives.

The final works should be completed in the first half of 2019/2020 and the company has the necessary authorisations.

The airstrip’s current configuration does not alter the compatibility of the investment with the objectives of the plan, in terms of functions and turnover, in the fixed-wing industry.

The overall revenue forecasts partially included in the group’s business plan show that these investments will be adequately recovered in the medium to long term.

The company closed the year with performance substantially in line with that of the averages of previous years, although it is still undergoing start-up and was entirely focused on investing activities.

thousands of Euros or percentages 2018/19 % of R 2017/18 % of R 2016/17 % of R 2015/16 % of R
TR – Total revenue from core business 155 155 155 155
R – Revenue 155 155 155 160
EBITDA 57 36,8% 59 38,1% 4 2,4% 26 16,2%
EBT 31 20,0% 34 22,0% (65) (37,4)% (26) (16,2)%
Profit (loss) for the year 28 18,1% 31 19,7% (59) (38,0)% (35) (21,9%)

  1. Marche Region. Protezione Civile e Sicurezza, Bollettino Incendi boschivi, “Il territorio”, 2018. 

  2. La Repubblica newspaper. “Elicotteri e Canadair, il soccorso dal cielo nelle mani dei privati.”, C. Zunino, 19.07.2017.