Rome’s airport is named for da Vinci, Venice’s for Marco Polo. Milan’s Malpensa? Silvio Berlusconi

 ROME (AP) — Silvio Berlusconi, a cruise-ship singer, media mogul and three-time premier who dominated Italian politics for three decades, is getting a new act following his death last year. Milan’s Malpensa Airport, Italy’s second-busiest passenger airport, is being renamed for the billionaire businessman-turned-politician, Italy’s transport minister announced Thursday. Italy’s civil aviation authority approved the [[{“value”:”

ROME (AP) — Silvio Berlusconi, a cruise-ship singer, media mogul and three-time premier who dominated Italian politics for three decades, is getting a new act following his death last year.

Milan’s Malpensa Airport, Italy’s second-busiest passenger airport, is being renamed for the billionaire businessman-turned-politician, Italy’s transport minister announced Thursday.

Italy’s civil aviation authority approved the proposal, and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini said the new name will be Milan-Malpensa Silvio Berlusconi international airport.

The proposal had generated opposition, with Milan’s center-left Mayor Beppe Sala firmly opposed and unions launching a counter-proposal to name the airport after La Scala’s famous prima ballerina, Carla Fracci.

But Salvini, a longtime ally of Berlusconi on Italy’s center-right, announced the decision had been made officially. “A great satisfaction for a great Italian,” Salvini said in a social media post.

Some of Italy’s other big airports are named for historically famous Italians, such as Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, Venice’s Marco Polo airport and Verona’s airport, named for the Latin poet Valerio Catullo.

Berlusconi, who died last year at age 86 of chronic leukemia, was Italy’s longest-serving premier, admired by some as a charismatic statesman who put Italy on the world stage but reviled by others as a populist who used political power for personal gain.

Malpensa is Italy’s second-busiest passenger airport, with 26 million passengers passing through last year, compared to the 40 million passengers who transited Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, according to Assaeroporti, the Italian association of airport operators.

Located in Italy’s industrial heartland, Malpensa far outpaces Rome in terms of cargo transport, moving 672,000 tons last year compared to Rome’s 190,000 tons, the association said.

The Associated Press

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