Back to top
After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2017 RonaldV
it

Trapani-Chinisia

10-09-2011

14-06-2017

733

37°53'46"N012°32'21"E

runway: 02/20 - 1650m - asphalt

Trapani-Chinisia (Also known as Borrizo airfield) was an airport located in the village of Rilievo, 16km south of Trapani, Italy
The airfield was an important airfield of the Regia Aeronautica, the Royal Italian Air Force, in the 1930s an the Second World War, with the runway in Borgo Rizzo.
The airfield was captured by the US Army in 1943 after the invasion of Sicily, who named it Borizzo Airfield, after the village of Borgo Rizzo.
USAAFs Twelfth Air Force 316th Troop Carrier Group, which flew C-47 Skytrains, used the airfield between 18 October 1943 and 12 February 1944.
When the Americans pulled out the airfield was handed back to the Italians who rebuilt the airport in 1949.

Me210Aof_III-ZG1inearly1943.jpg
Me210 of III.ZG1 at Chinisia in early 1943 (unknown, via Michelangelo Marino).

chinisia-ground2011.jpg
Chinisia, almost the same location as above, January 2011 (Michelangelo Marino).

The rebuilt airfield was inaugurated in 1949 as a military airport in place of the military airport of Trapani-Milo used thus far.
It was named in honour of Italian aviation pioneer Livio Bassi.
From 1955 the airfield began to be used as a civilian airport for regional airports and Pantelleria.
The aiport operated both military and commercial flights until 1961 when the new Trapani-Birgi Airport was opened.
Military flights continued until its disposal at the end of the 1970s, however.

Chinisia2006.jpg
Chinisia in 2006 (Google Earth)

Today of the airport remain only the runway, the control-tower and few smaller buildings.
Google Earth only shows an abandoned concrete airstrip and a taxi track (broken up on the east side) which is slowly being reconverted into an agricultural area.
According to the Italian wikipedia page "it houses the Kinisia go-kart track and the structure is configured as miniautodromo and has also hosted bike races".
However, when asked about the go-kart track, Silvano Marti answered me he did not see a go-kart track at the airfield in August 2011.
He did find a refugee camp on the runway though, a result of the "Arabian Spring" exodus from Tunesia and Libya.
Italy received most of the people claiming to flee their countries (mostly young men of working age), and struggled to house them on several deserted airfields in the south of Italy.

chinisiaimmigrant2011.jpg
An immigrant camp was set up on the main runway at Chinisia in spring/summer of 2011 (shot by Silvano Marti, co-author of Aquile di Chiana (Eagles of Chiana).)



chinisia-tower2011.jpg
The former control tower of Chinisia in August 2011 (Silvano Marti)

chinisia-towerfromrunway.jpg
A vineyard is slowly expanding over the former airfield, as can be seen from this view from the runway towards the tower in August 2011 (Silvano Marti)



Related airfields Trapani-Chinisia

Carcitella
37°47'51"N 012°38'52"ERunway: 05/23 - 900m - grassRunway: 15/33 -  1000m -...
Marsala-Stagnone
37°48'46"N012°27'17"E Runway: n/a The Marsala-Stagnone hydroplane base (Italian:...
Trapani-Milo
38°00'21"N012°34'54"E Runway: 05/23 - ....meters/....feet - AsphaltAirfield Trapani-Milo...
Castelvetrano
37°40'24"N 012°46'29"ERunway: 17/35 - 1200x75meters/3935x240feet - unkAir field...