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Looking at some text published by the government in the wake of Covid-19, I found the following sentence which contains the words "aeroportuali e portuali":

Le principali azioni coordinate dal Capo del Dipartimento sono volte al soccorso e all'assistenza della popolazione eventualmente interessata dal contagio, al potenziamento dei controlli nelle aree aeroportuali e portuali, in continuità con le misure urgenti già adottate dal Ministero della salute, al rientro in Italia dei cittadini che si trovano nei Paesi a rischio e al rimpatrio dei cittadini stranieri nei Paesi di origine esposti al rischio.

I know the plurals for airports and ports being aeroporti e porti, so I figured this meant the administrative organizations responsible for the airports and ports. I checked against online translations, and found that the words translated to airport and port, both singular. I posed the question of what these forms of the words meant to the Italian speaker in the house, and he said he was unsure, but guessed instead that aeroportuali referred to the whole grounds encompassing an airport rather than the terminal structure that one would roll their suitcase into.

What are these forms of the word? Do they mean the physical structure and space around an airport/port?

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  • Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Mar 12 '20 at 8:32
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portuale is an adjective and should be attached to a noun; its meaning is "of the port, related to the port" (for example, gergo portuale, slang used by people working in a port)(http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/ricerca/portuale/).

If no noun is specified, portuali refers to the workers of the port, while portuale, less common, may refer to a single worker.

aeroportuale is the same as portuale, of course referring to an airport instead of a sea port.

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    In the page the OP mentions (which, by the way, doesn't seem to be an official government page) the words aeroportuali and portuali appear in the phrase aree aeroportuali e portuali. So here the first case applies: they are simply adjectives modifying the words aree (= “areas”). Hence, the explanation “the whole grounds encompassing an airport” is correct, but including the word aree too. OP, please give a bit more context in questions like this.
    – DaG
    Mar 12 '20 at 8:44

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