This paper focuses on some critical issues concerning Italian airports regulatory framework. In particular, it discusses which incentives the national legal framework should create in order to spur the development of the Italian airport system. Even if air traffic has shown important improvements during the last decade, national airport system still combines a need for infrastructures development (as it emerges comparing major Italian airports to the European ones) and an inefficient network organisation (as the under-utilization of the small airports suggests). The paper summarizes some relevant evidence and then expands into some critical issues on the institutional governance and on the regulation "enforcement" (concession regime application of airports, liberalization of handling services, Authority competences). This leads us to propose and discuss some policy suggestions.