The Airport Business Between Now and the Future: Marco Troncone's Viewpoint

The CEO of Aeroporti di Roma meets SDA Bocconi's EMBA students to discuss his company's growth path in the face of new air transport challenges


Marco Troncone, alumnus of the 2021 Full-Time MBA, and now CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, was the guest speaker at the event within SDA Bocconi's "CEO Talks" series. It was an opportunity to share his experiences and ideas with EMBA students, with Carlo Altomonte, Associate Professor of Economics at SDA Bocconi, leading the conversation.

Marco Troncone begins by talking about his company and how it has changed over the years, despite the fact that the airport business is not particularly prone to change by its very nature. "Aeroporti di Roma was born as a public company, structurally very intertwined with Alitalia. This condition remained unchanged until 1997, when the process of privatization began and ended three years later with the divestiture of the shares held by the State.

It was only in 2012, when a new contract was signed and with a more structured pledge of investment, that Aeroporti di Roma finally became a truly successful public-private partnership. "Considering that from 2012 to today," Troncone points out, "we have put between 2.3 and 2.4 billion euros into structural investments, supervision of operations, internalisation of a whole series of production factors, and greater attention given to the profit and loss account”.

It is a decade of growth and great recovery for the company, which Troncone divides into three distinct phases. "The first phase is aimed at the aeronautical part, which is clearly a priority. In the second phase, which has been going on for about eight years, we have been working on the non-aviation part from a marketing perspective. In particular on food and 'Made in Italy'. Now we have entered a third phase. Today, the first theme is digitalisation as a technological lever for offering a smarter experience to our customers. But there is a second major theme we are facing: environmental sustainability."

Troncone dedicated the last part of his speech to the fight against climate change. A topic that is clearly pressing, considering that air transport generates 2 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere globally. "We are talking about 50 billion tons of CO2, a gigantic problem." - says Troncone - "We know there are promising technologies, such as hydrogen-powered aircraft or the developments happening with SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) or synthetic fuels, but it will take years before these solutions are economically viable. This is why we, at Aeroporti di Roma, have started what we can call a sectoral co-op that includes private companies and government bodies and which we are trying to expand to the European level. The aim is to define an emissions reduction road map for our sector that is credible, achievable and scientifically supported by data."

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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