In the era of globalization of transports, tourism, in particular air travel, has caused an increase in the introduction of alien species.
In Italy the screening at airports on the possible introduction of non-native species occurs only if the airport is recognized as a customs control with the power to apply controls connected with CITES for the species included in the relevant list. This requires the introduction of a prevention / repression system in order to eliminate and reduce the risk of introducing alien species, through the creation of an integrated office which operates the controls of alien species at the entry, together with information activities to passengers, customs inspectors and all agents involved.
The GESTIRE 2020 project focuses on the international airport of Orio al Serio (near the city of Bergamo), second in Italy for number of passengers and third for freight traffic. Traffic includes flights from some non-European countries considered at risk for the introduction of alien species. The project envisages a first phase (A9 action) consisting in the study and design of the integrated office at the airport, in the analysis of the available data on passengers and freight traffic with the contribution of SACBO (Society for the Bergamo-Orio al Serio Civil Airport).
Once risks and procedures are defined, the acquired expertise and best work practices will be transmitted to the personnel that will work in the integrated office (action C20) thus setting up the office. It will be located adjacent to the departures and arrivals area in agreement with the airport authorities and SACBO, and it will have to ensure, in scheduled time periods and days, the control of arriving passengers, the information to departing passengers and the actions to be undertaken in urgent cases.
The office at the airport will operate the controls on of alien species at entry. The GESTIRE 2020 project is however aimed at filling the information gap of passengers about the risks relating to alien species: that is why an information campaign (action E12) will be launched for passengers, the SACBO company, airline companies, travel agencies, and the wider public as a potential travellers. A questionnaire addressed to departing passengers will allow to understand the current level of awareness and knowledge on the topic. Information materials, a vademecum for the passenger and a video will be produced to offer travellers departing a complete picture of the situation and the related risks.