2012. Torino Aeritalia Airfield
2009. The partecipants of the trip at the Castle of Chambord in the Loira Valley
The early years of the new millennium were characterized by a number of new initiatives. These were aimed at partly at developing the airfield’s activities through its increased usage by the public services and partly at the promotion and dissemination of “the art of flying” in the broadest sense.
The year 2004 saw the organization of the first of a series air trips whose aim was not only to incentivate flying, but above all to allow the participants to gain a greater understanding of the National and International aeronautical world, allowing them to refine their flight planning and navigation techniques, talents indispensable for flight safety.
That first 4-day circuit (Turin, Fano, Pescara, Crotone, Perugia, Turin) which took place in early July 2004 was followed by Croatia (Dubrovnik) in 2006, Spain (Valencia) in 2007, Sicily (Trapani) in 2008, France (the Castle of the Loire) in 2009, Greece (Corfù) in 2010, Hungary (Balaton, Budapest) in 2011, Spain (Granada, Ibiza) in 2012, Montenegro (Cattaro) in 2013, Sicily (Magna Grecia) in 2014 and Portugal (Lisbon) in 2016.
With the intention of promoting understanding of the world of aeronautics to the general public, an “Open Day” was organised in June 2006, inviting the local citizens to visit the airfield, with the possibility of enjoying a flight – which for many was a “baptism of the air”.
2006. “A day at the airport” with the Aero Club Torino
2007. Presentation by Alenia Aeronautica of its Sky-Y
2007. Presentation by Alenia Aeronautica of its
2007. Simulation of a rescue mission by a dog unit
Year by year, this event has grown, attracting interest and the participation of the local aeronautical corporations, in particular Alenia, which for the 2008 edition displayed a prototype “SKY-Y”. This high altitude UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle), with a 1900 CC diesel JTD engine, capable of being remotely piloted, has an autonomy of some 30 hours flight.
The Nimbus company of Leinì also presented a prototype remote controlled reconnaissance aircraft.
Great hopes of growth were anticipated following the news that the Winter Olympics of 2006 had been assigned to Turin. An ambitious project called “Olicopter” was planned to provide a helicopter service up and down the Olympic Valleys. Its main locus was to be the Aero Club Torino, and had the collaboration of a number of large companies in this sector. If it had come into being, it would have brought considerable visibility and traffic as well as supplying a much-needed service.
It was planned that the airfield would also be used for the Olympic emergency and rescue services, and thanks to the total coverage of the costs by the Piedmont Region and ENAV, a floodlit helicopter landing area, runway lights and A-PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator), enabling 24 hours a day operations was installed. It was inaugurated in October 2005.
Unfortunately, and an enormous delusion for all of us, the Winter Olympic Games not only brought no benefits at all to the airfield, but even penalised it! At the very last moment, for alleged reasons of “anti-terrorist security”, it was completely closed to traffic by order of the Prefect (Chief of Police) for the entire period of the Games.
29 november 2006. Signing of the convention with the Grassi Technical Institute. From left: Angelo Moriondo,
Umberto D'Ottavio (Provincial Councillor) and Pietro Bovaro Headmaster of Grassi Institute
Putting the delusion of the winter Olympics behind them and continuing with the policy of public service activities, on the 29th of November 2006, the Board of the Aero Club stipulated a convention with the Grassi Technical Aeronautical Institute to put into practice a project called “Professionalism in Flight” within an initiative of the Province of Turin to forge a link between school and work. The project helped the entire final year class to see what the world of aviation has to offer.
Within the context of development and encouragement of the school, we should mention that on the 11th of January 2008, an agreement was signed with the Aero Club of Vercelli for the joint opening of a Flight Training Organisation which has been operating successfully since March 2009.
25 November 2009. Press conference for the signature of the agreement with the Turin Polytechnic.
In October 2008, a ceremony was held to celebrate the Centennial of the foundation of the Aero Club, which, as mentioned at the beginning of this History, took place in July 1908. Among the participants were the Mayor of Collegno Silvana Accossato, the Turin Aldermen Renato Montabone (Sport) and Alessandro Altamura (Tourism) and a number of representatives from the worlds of Sport and Aeronautics. The event was also celebrated by the Italian Postal Service with a special cancellation on the 31st of May 2008. From the aeronautical point of view, the event was also the occasion of a twinning between the Aero Club and the Army Helicopter Group at Venaria military airport.
2008. Twinning with the 34th Group, Army Aviation Squadron “Toro” based at the Mario Santi
airfield at Venaria on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Aero Club Torino.
Colonel Alberto Scafella presents the document Elicottero/Helicopter AB-205 to the President of the Aero Club Torino.
June 2009 brought the Torino-Aeritalia airfield directly into the world spotlight with the start of the “World Air Games” (see chapter 17). Known as the “Olympics of the Air”, this is without doubt the most important sports aviation competition in the world.
A full seven days of formidable international competition covering all ten air sports disciplines took place in the skies over Piedmont.
29 June 2009. The Air Force Chief of staff General Vincenzo Camporini with the minister Roberto Maroni and the
president of the Aero Club of Italy Giuseppe Leoni, present the Aero Club of Turin, represented by the President Angelo Moriondo,
with an official recognition for having organized the World Air Games in Turin
Towards the end of the 1940’s, the Ministry of Defence, with the intention of increasing the number of aircrew organized free of charge flying courses, open to those young men waiting for military service, conducted by the Italian Air Force (AMI) with the assistance of the local Aero Clubs.
In particular, in 1950, the Aero Club Torino, together with the AMI, organized a training course using two mb 308, 85 HP aircraft. The military instructor was WO. De Rubeis and the takeoff tests were conducted by Engineer Vittore Catella.
|14 May 2010. The pupils and the local politicians|
The tradition continued in the years that followed, such that in May of 2010, the AMI, together with the AeC Torino organized a week of “aeronautical culture” for pupils of the high schools of Turin. The success of this initiative can be judged by the enormous request for participation that the organisers had to limit the numbers to about 300 pupils, leaving out several hundred others.
14 maggio 2010. Capt. Costagliola addresses the pupils, outlining the objectives of the course.
From left: Counsellor Domenico Gallo, Counsellor Rosanna Costa, Michele Coppola (Regional Alderman
for Culture and Youth Policy), Umberto D’Ottavio (Regional Assessor for Education), Silvana Accossato (Mayor of Collegno)
On the 14th of May, following a series of introductory conferences held by IAF personnel at the various schools, “air experience” flights began in the four siai marchetti S.208M aircraft made available by the iaf for an entire week. The event, which rather than a ceremony could be called a joyous party, saw the participation of politicians from Turin and Collegno, Piedmont Region and Province of Turin.
The main focus of the Board of Directors for the 2010’s is to increase the number of instructional courses (as of March 2010, there were 102 students at various levels), to promote the airfield through the creation of a multifunctional platform for all public utility services (e.g. Civil Defence, Fire Brigade, Forestry Fire Service and Police) in addition to the already-existing Rescue Services (118) helicopters.
Another objective is to try to encourage the greatest possible number of small companies in the aeronautic service sector to locate on the airfield in order to generate a type of incubator laboratory for aeronautical projects and experimentation. It is hoped that the convention signed with the Turin Polytechnic will be productive in this regard.
And finally, in September 2010, at a cost of some 250,000 Euro, work began on the complete refurbishment of the rusty and dangerous state-owned hangar located on the North side of the airfield, bringing to a somewhat laborious end the plan for renewal of the indispensable structures of the airfield.
The western area hangar which is being temporarily used
Project for a polyfunctional aeronautical
The new hangar, renovated in 2010
Little Aviators - In flight for a smile
In 2011, following up a request some branches of the Lions Club, the Aero Club Torino, in collaboration with the non profit organization FORMA (Regina Margherita Hospital Foundation), organized a benefit day to provide pleasure flights for some of the small patients in Turin’s Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital.
This experience was repeated in the Spring of 2012 with the children of the “family refuge” in Pinerolo and again on the 22nd of September 2012. To date, the Aero Club has provided flights for more than 70 children, parents and guardians for a total of over 100 people.
Since then, in addition to the FORMA association, two other non profit organization, the "Federation of Rare Childhood Diseases" (FMRI) and the " Italian Parents Union" (UGI) have participated in this very successful event.
The initiative was given the name "In flight for a smile", since it aims to bring the smile back to sick, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged children. It has become a fixed appointment in the month of September which is repeated every year with growing participation of children.
In the morning, while waiting for their flight, the children are entertained with small impromptu shows and playful-creative activities, while in the afternoon, at the end of the flights and after a small buffet, it is customary to put on a circus show set up by the Circus School FLIC of Turin.
The success of the initiative was also possible thanks to the contribution of those members who made their aircraft available, to the work of the volunteers and to the economic support given by a number of local companies.
The children at the Aero Club on the 22nd of September 2012