According to established international standards, the catchment area of an airport is calculated by including all the points on the territory from which it is possible to reach the airport within a given time threshold by any available means of transport.
For intercontinental airports such as Malpensa, the valid threshold is 2 hours, since long-haul flights (conventionally longer than 6 hours) justify a passenger's ground segment being longer than the one for short-haul flights (e.g. intra-European) of less than 3 hours.
Milan's catchment area includes first of all the Lombardy Region, where Malpensa and Linate airports are located, representing their user base. Lombardy1 is the main industrial region of our country: in 2013, its industrial added value was 26.7% of the national one, while Lombardy absorbs 23.8% of workers for the entire national industry in terms of employment.
However, Lombardy also plays a major role in agriculture, boasting the second agricultural added value, equal to 10.4% of the Italian one. Still, the weight of individual provinces in the Lombardy economic and productive fabric is very different, with a dominant role in the province of Milan, followed at some distance by the provinces of Brescia and Bergamo. These three provinces are the most important ones from the industrial point of view, while in the agricultural sector the leadership lies in the two south-eastern provinces of Lombardy (Mantua and Cremona), along with the province of Brescia. In particular, the province of Milan generates 31.3% of the industrial added value of Lombardy, Brescia 14% and Bergamo 13.1%.
With 9.9 million inhabitants, compared to the equivalent European regions of NUTS2 class, Lombardy is the second most populous European Region after Île de France, which has 11.9 million people. From the point of view of economic size, Lombardy is the second NUTS2 European Region for GDP generation, once again positioned after Île de France, but ahead of regions such as Inner London, Upper Bavaria, Düsseldorf, or the Stuttgart region.
1 Source: www.lombardia2030.it