Malpensa Airport could create 30,000 jobs by 2030

According to a study carried out by the LIUC University, already today, the total resulting business is estimated at €13 billion, accounting for 1.9% of employment in Lombardy, with 80,000 new jobs.

La nuova Malpensa

We are used to thinking of Malpensa Airport as a facility created to perform only one role: that of moving goods and people into and out of our province.

As the institutions and employees involved in Malpensa well know, if we look more broadly, at the direct and indirect business created, we get a completely different idea, and understand fully how huge an amount of money and energy is spent to keep Malpensa Airport working.

This operation is not easy, particularly for unauthorised personnel. However, the study commissioned by SEA, the company that manages the airport, and carried out by the Research Centre for Territorial Development of the LIUC University, gives a clear picture of the extent of the effects on the economy and employment in Varese Province and throughout Lombardy.

Considering just the consequences in terms of production value directly connected with the Airport, the value is estimated to be a little more than €3 billion, with 16,700 jobs. Then, if we consider the total of the direct and indirect effects, of spin-off activities and all of the variables, including the attraction of investments and tourism, we get €13 billion, 1.9% of the value of employment in Lombardy, with 80,000 jobs.

These are huge numbers, particularly if we consider the poverty that Varese Province has also seen due to the economic crisis and to some worrying variables of change, such as the recent relocation of Whirlpool from the Comerio site.

The impact estimated by the LIUC study, which was led by Prof Massimiliano Serati, confirms that Malpensa Airport is the largest concentrated production  complex in Lombardy. Without considering the total economic effects, the study presents a very detailed analysis of the direct and indirect impact and of the spin-off business of the airport, which employs 24,000 people, 2228 of whom are employed directly by SEA, for a total value of €5.6 billion.

A little more than 1500 people are employed directly by SEA, 71% of whom are from Lombardy (44% from Varese Province, and 16% from towns that lie around the Airport). Looking more closely, we see that 4.5% of the population of the towns around the Airport are employed directly by SEA.

An analysis of the tourist flows presents very encouraging data, estimating the effect on the production value in Lombardy due to tourism coming into Malpensa at over €4 billion, with 4000 jobs. However, these figures reflect the increase in low-cost airlines, which have more limited consequences.

However, the most interesting part concerns the forecast on airport development and the expected consequences in terms of employment. The short-term trend has been calculated until 2020, with nearly 30,000 jobs and a growth that, conservatively, sees, in 2030, 28,000 employed people, a number that may get to 31,400.

This trend immediately caught the attention of the mayors in the area; many of those present at the presentation of the data, at Terminal 1 of the airport, called for immediate collaboration between all people in the field, to understand how best to train the people in the area, and how best to seize each of the potential jobs that will be created.

The numbers are very interesting, explained Pietro Modiano, the SEA Chairman. “First of all, they tell us how much wealth and how many jobs the work of SEA in Malpensa creates, in an area that goes far beyond that of the airport, with an incredible investment stimulus, a sign that this airport is very important for the territory. Moreover, especially after 2015, which marked a turning point for Malpensa, the prospects for growth are essential, and they tell us how much potential there still is. It will be a gradual increase, which needs to be carefully planned.”

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