The announcement was made by the Committee comprised of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the Italian Aeronautics and Astronautics Association (AIDAA), global academic representatives, and Leonardo, the Italian aerospace industry leader.
The city of Milan’s candidacy was strongly supported by local institutions, including the President of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana, and the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala.
Milan was selected over other important candidate cities such as Budapest (Hungary), São Paulo (Brazil), Seville (Spain) and Adelaide (Australia). The Italian city was selected by more than 400 delegates from the International Astronautical Federation’s General Assembly, which gathered in Dubai from 25 to 29 October at the 72nd edition of the IAC.
The IAC, founded in 1951, is organised annually by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). The congress currently includes 71 member states represented by all the main space agencies, companies, research centres, universities, associations, and museums.
The chosen motto for the IAC75 is "Responsible Space for Sustainability", with the aim of raising awareness in the international community for a conscious and responsible use of the space environment.
With an increase in the number of missions in orbit and the emergence of large constellations made-up of hundreds of satellites, the risk of collision between objects in space increases. This not only means the creation of new dangerous space debris; however, this could compromise the proper functioning of satellite systems on which many activities of our daily life depends: from telecommunication services to transport, from environmental monitoring to security.
The 2024 edition will also include themes of diversity and inclusiveness. Space has always been the place where different countries, generations, genders and skills are crucial for the development, evolution, innovation and knowledge of humanity.
The space sector in Lombardy
The arrival of the IAC in Milan marks success for the Italian space sector as a whole. Furthermore, it is a reward for the excellence of the city and it recognises Italy's leading role in the global space economy. Milan has a thriving and consolidated space ecosystem comprising of industry, SMEs and start-ups, research centres and universities. These all contribute to the innovation and technological development of various international space programmes.
“It is a victory for Milan, for the Lombardy region, for the national space industry and for the entire supply chain. At Leonardo we are particularly proud: we have strongly embraced and supported the candidacy because we believe that the value of Space, where we have been playing a leading role on an international level for years, is fundamental and strategic for the future of technological innovation at the service of the country and its sustainable growth”.
Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo.
Leonardo group is present in Lombardy with a total of 7000 employees, a figure that includes the two joint ventures Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space.
Telespazio has been present in Lombardy since 1977 with the Lario Space Centre, a technological centre of excellence that, with 60 operational antennas and an area of 80,000 square metres, 5,000 of which are covered, provides highly specialised services to major national and international television operators, guaranteeing satellite connections 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Lario also manages telecommunications services for institutional and commercial users, as well as customer care activities for infomobility connections, with European coverage, and navigation and messaging, with global coverage. In the sectors of in-orbit satellite control and data acquisition from space, Lario is also involved as a ground station for Meteosat second and third generation satellites.
Leonardo is also present in Lombardy at Nerviano, a centre of excellence for its activities in the space sector, producing various equipment such as complex robotic systems, power modules, solar panels and atomic clocks for numerous European and international space missions.