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Arbatax Airport

Arbatax Airport

Abandoned airport by the sea

The 1.5 kilometer-long runway of Tortoli-Arabatax airport ends a few meters short of San Gemiliano beach.

Tortoli-Arabatax Airport was built in the 1960s as a logistics hub for the Arbatax paper factory .

After the closure of the paper mill, Arbatax Airport changed hands. From now on, charter flights full of tourists landed here in the summer.


The airport was renovated in 2008 to accommodate medium-sized jets: the runway was extended, and the passenger terminal received a much-needed update.

The airport reopened in 2010, but not for long. The last charter flight took off in October 2011.

The doors to the departure hall are closed today.


Reactivation has been on the agenda for years, but to date, there has been no sign of it: the parking lot is empty, the buildings are locked and there is no trace of airplanes.

Large crosses have been painted on the runway to indicate that air traffic is no longer welcome here.

Paper mill

The airport's raison d'ĂȘtre, the Arbatax paper factory, has also seen its best days.

The paper mill opened in the 1960s in an attempt to revive the Sardinian economy. That worked for a while, but from the 1970s onwards, the factory dragged itself from one scandal to another. The curtain fell in 2005.

Much of the ruins have been blown up, but some buildings have stood the test of time.

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