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Aero Club in spring

Turning point and the new investments

In March 1994, with the election of an enthusiastic entrepreneur, Renzo Ruspa, as the Aero Club President, his new Board of Directors brought fresh ideas and a modern vision of the airfield's future into focus. Their aim was to develop the airfield to capitalise on its "public service vocation", and after an initial period of uncertainty, the downward trend inverted and a steady climb back towards health began to take place.

The desire to get things done and to modernise this long-declining structure with its somewhat antique rules meant planning a series of investments which committed the Aero Club to considerable financial burdens. The operation, spread across several years, was possible thanks to the fundamental contribution of a number of organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Region of Piedmont, at long last attentive to the needs of the airfield and who covered about 30% of the cost of these works.

The President Renzo Ruspa and Prof. Gaetano Di Modica presenting the Gliding Championships naugural ceremony for the Italian Gliding Championships of 1995. The welcome salutes of Mayor Valentino Castellani. From the right we can recognize:  Edoardo Agnelli Jr, Baron Piero Casana, don Paolo Gariglio,  the Prefect Claudio Gelati1995 Italian Glider Championship


In 1995 the Aero Club organised the Italian Gliding Championships and a large Air Show on the 2nd of June 1996.

In 1995, in the north part of the airfield, a 3-hole practice golf course was set up. This became quite popular with both club members and the general public.

Also in 1995, the airfield was included in the Piedmont Region's Civil Defence Plan, and in 1998, capitalising on its vocation as a service airfield, a convention was signed with the Region for the stationing of the "118" helicopter rescue service: There are also future prospects for its becoming the centre for both the Fire Brigade and the Civil Defence helicopter services.

The arrival of the heli-rescue service “118”The new premises for the Gliding section


To satisfy the operational requirements of the "118" service, the low building parallel to the Strada Berlia, formerly used by the parachutists and glider personnel was restructured and adapted in 1998, while in 1999, a new hangar for the rescue helicopter was built.

Beginning in 1995 and in the years that followed, the aircraft fleet was also increased and partly renewed through the acquisition of 6 aircraft – two Piper PA28R "Arrow IV", one Piper PA28 160 "Warrior", two Robin DR 400 for glider towing, and one motor glider SF25C – and two single-seater gliders (an SZD 55 and an Astir Club) as well as the complete renovation of two PA28 140 "Cherokee".

In October 1996, due to the changes in air traffic requirements, a start was made to the restructuring of the control tower, in line with a project designed by engineer Diego Menardi.

The tower was enlarged and raised, while administrative offices for the ENAC staff were added. Work was completed during the presidency of Alessandro Villa in 2001. The inauguration and opening ceremony took place on the 15th of May that year with the ribbon being cut by the Deputy Minister Ugo Martinat in the presence of the Mayor of Collegno Umberto D'Ottavio and the Prefect Dr. Achille Catalani.

The new control towerThe undersecretary Ugo Martinat, the mayor Umberto D’Ottavio and the prefect Achille Catalani at the inauguration of the new control tower


At the same time, the bar-restaurant area of the Aero Club on the ground floor was enlarged and improved, while the offices and classrooms on the first floor were also significantly renovated.

In 1998, the by then old and dilapidated wooden shed used by the gliding fraternity was demolished and a new facility built in its place.

In 2002, new drains were installed for the offices and the bar-restaurant.

Renzo Ruspa was succeeded as President by Alessandro Villa in 2000. Both carried on the process of renovation and investment begun in 1994. In 2002 Dr. Angelo Moriondo was elected as President.

This fervour of initiative revitalised the airfield's activity to the extent that in the last years of the 20th Century there were an average of between 28-30,000 traffic movements and some 4,500 flight hours per year. The Aero Club's Flying School, in its various disciplines, saw an average of 55-60 students each year, most of whom going on to some professional aeronautical occupation. At the end of 2009, thanks also to the convention with the Grassi Institute (see following pages) a total of 96 students were participating in the two disciplines of Gliding and Powered flight.