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UPDATE 1-Italian ministry rejects Atlantia's plan to enlarge Rome airport

(Updates with ADR statement)

ROME, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Italy's environment ministry has rejected a plan by Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia, to enlarge Rome's Fiumicino airport, a ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.

The spokeswoman confirmed that a technical committee at the ministry had said the project could not go ahead because it would be built in a place near a natural reserve.

In a statement later on Monday, ADR reiterated it had been working with Italy's civil aviation authority ENAC for some time on a plan to increase the airport's capacity while fully respecting the environment and the area around the airport.

It said the number of passengers at Fiumicino had been growing steadily for more than 10 years and forecasts indicated the infrastructure would need to be developed in coming years.

ADR, which also runs Rome's Ciampino airport geared to low cost carriers and courier services, handled 48.8 million passengers last year. (Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri and Stephen Jewkes, editing by Francesca Landini and Deepa Babington)

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