Civil ARFF in Italy

Since its foundation in 1947, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has published a number of technical documents called International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) whose application by ICAO member States is recommended although not compulsory.
The SARPS regarding ARFF services at airports are published in Annex 14 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, titled "Aerodromes".
ICAO logo
According to this document, the ICAO divides airports into 10 Categories, each of them requiring a certain minimum amount of extinguishing agents available for immediate use.
ICAO Categories refer to the length and fuselage width of the aircraft served by the airport and consider the number of movements at the airport in the busiest consecutive 3 months.
Two AIS Perlini-Baribbi Two AIS by Perlini/Baribbi under the nose
of Boeing 747-243B Combi I-DEMF
Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco,
Comando Provinciale di Bologna
In Italy the airport fire service is provided according to Legge 930/1980 of 23 December 1980, the act that transposes international ICAO requirements into a nation-wide regulatory framework.
Accordingly, airports up to ICAO Category 4 included have the fire service provided by private companies with appropriate certification.
Above ICAO Category 4 the fire service is provided by the Ministero dell'Interno (Ministry of Interior) through Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco, the National Fire Service, which is in charge of fire protection all over Italy.
VVF patch
In particular, the Servizio Tecnico Centrale (Technical Central Service) of the National Fire Service administers the ARFF service at major airports through the Servizio Ispettivo Antincendi Aeroportuale e Portuale (Airport and Port Fire Inspectoral Service). This Service consists of three regional Inspectorates for Northern, Central and Southern Italy.
These Inspectorates are in charge of the ARFF equipment fielded at the airports that fall within their region and assignes the personnel according to ICAO Categories.
At local level, however, the personnel is administered by the Comandi Provinciali (Provincial Headquarters), which are in charge of fire prevention within a province.
National Fire Service ARFF departments are referred to as Distaccamenti Aeroportuali (Airport Detachments). The term can be specified by adding the name of the town where the airport is located, so Distaccamento Aeroportuale di Fiumicino is the ARFF department of Rome "Leonardo da Vinci" airport. In Italy 32 airports have a Distaccamento Aeroportuale.
Since the ARFF service is regulated on national basis, ARFF units are very similar all over Italy. Provided that their number varies according to ICAO Category, the types of ARFF vehicles fielded at Italian airports are more or less the same.
The next pages describe the ARFF service at an Italian medium-sized airport.

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