Major milestones

1948 SEA was incorporated in Busto Arsizio (Varese) on the initiative of a group of private individuals, under the name “Aeroporto di Busto Società per Azioni”. In June 1948 the Company obtained authorisation to construct a civil airport at the old military airport of Malpensa. The official opening took place on November 21 of that same year.
1955 The Company took on the current name “Società per Azioni Esercizi Aeroportuali SEA” and in 1966 company headquarters were transferred to Segrate (Milan).
1957 The Company begins to extend and develop also the airport of Linate, which after the Second World War remained almost entirely inactive and undertook its management from June 1960.
1962 On May 7 the Company signed – with the Ministries for Defence and for Finance and the Treasury – Agreement No. 191 which, under the principles established by Law 194/1962, governs relations between the State and the Company in relation to the management, maintenance and development of the airports of Malpensa and Linate. 
1985 The legal classification of “private airports”, recognised to the Milan airports by Law 194/1962, is confirmed and extended until 2022 by Law 449/1985. This law awards to SEA the design and construction of the extension and redevelopment works at Malpensa airport, which are in part financed by the State. 
1990 Based on the loans attained – and with the support of its own financial resources – SEA begins to implement the scheduled actions under the “Malpensa 2000” project.
1992 SEA sets up, with other companies, Malpensa Energia (now SEA Energia), in order to construct, and subsequently manage, a co-generation station for the supply of electric and thermal energy to support the needs of Malpensa airport. 
1994 Decision of the Council of Prime Ministers of the European Community, based on which Malpensa airport is included in 14 priority Trans-European Network projects.
1998 In view of the entry into use of the infrastructure of the Malpensa 2000 project, it is decided to restructure the Milan airport system capacity, which includes the airports of Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo Orio al Serio. With the so-called Burlando Decree No. 1 and Burlando Decree No. 2, the entire traffic of Linate is “re-positioned” to Malpensa, with the exception of the Milan-Rome routes. 
2001 On September 4, ENAC and SEA sign the 2001 Agreement which replaces Agreement 191/1962 and with duration until May 4, 2041.
2002 SEA transfers, through conferment of the business unit, all handling activities carried out at the Milan airports to SEA Handling, a company fully held by SEA.
2006 SEA begins the redevelopment of the Malpensa airport structure, dedicating Malpensa 1 to medium and long haul flights, (in both cases scheduled flights), while Malpensa 2 – initially dedicated to low cost and charter flights – is reserved for the high-end low cost flight sector, with transfer in 2008 of charter flights to Malpensa 1.
2008 From the end of March, Alitalia, under its industrial plan, no longer designates Malpensa as a hub, drastically reducing its network at the terminal and transferring a large part of flights to Rome Fiumicino. Within the re-organisation of the Alitalia group, with provision No. 19248 of December 3 issued by the Anti-trust Authority, it is established that until December 3, 2011 no investigation into any positions of monopoly at Linate following this merger will be carried out.
2011 On December 29, the company F2i - Fondi italiani per le infrastrutture – entered the Group, undertaking a 29.75 stake, purchased from the Municipality of Milan, which maintains however its position as majority shareholder.
2012 Following the Anti-trust Authority investigation, which identified a monopoly on the Milan Linate - Rome Fiumicino route by the Alitalia Group, at the end of October easyJet was offered the option of slots on this route previously used by Alitalia. On December 27, F2i acquired the 14.56% share of SEA previously held by ASAM (holding company of the Province of Milan), bringing therefore its stake in the Company to 44.31%.
2013 Following the decision of December 19, 2012 by which the European Commission judged the share capital increases made by SEA in favour of SEA Handling, in the 2002-2010 period, as State Aid incompatible with the internal market, the SEA Group began talks with the Commission to identify an alternative solution to the planned sanction. Under such an alternative, SEA would continue to be present on the handling market through a holding in a new company, incorporated on September 9 and called Airport Handling S.r.l., presently non-operative. On December 18, SEA acquired the controlling share of 98.34% held by Acqua Pia Antica Marcia (SAPAM) in Ali Trasporti Aerei ATA. The SEA Group therefore also manages the western section of Linate airport which represents, with over 24 thousand movements served in 2012, the largest Italian General Aviation base and the sixth in Europe by number of daily movements.
2014 Due to the discontinuity requested by the European Commission on the issue of State aid from SEA in favour of SEA Handling, on 9 June the Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting of the subsidiary SEA Handling voted for early dissolution of the Company and to put it in liquidation effective as of 1 July 2014.
On 30 June SEA's Board of Directors voted to establish a Trust for the purpose, the main element ensuring the economic discontinuity, called “Milan Airport Handling Trust”, to which 100% of the shares of Airport Handling were assigned, in order to exclude any type of control by SEA over Airport Handling and continuity between SEA Handling and the same Airport Handling.
With these transactions SEA disposed of the commercial airline handling business.