On Crete, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended a ceremony for the foundation stone laying at the new airport at Kastelli. The Prime Minister promised that the previously stalled project will be ready to receive the first passengers by 2025.
Mr. Mitsotakis told attendees and the press onhand about the problems with current Kazantzakis airport barely managing to serve 8 million passengers annually. He focused on the positives of the new Crete Airport project:
“[the current airport] is noisy and burdens the Heraklion region with extra traffic,” whereas the new airport will be “environmentally friendly (…) will feature cutting edge technologies (…) and will simply be the best airport in the country.”
According to the news from Greek Reporter, the Greek state will hold a 46 percent of the shares capital, with the exclusive shareholders being the Greek State, and the Ariadne Airport Group, a joint venture between GEK Terna and India-based GMR Airports Limited.
Mitsotakis also spoke about financing the new Crete airport project, saying the Greek state “will first put down 180 million euros and another 125 million euros down the line.” Another €160 million euros is to be put down by the private shareholder, according to the Greek PM.
“The Greek state alone will soon see a return of more than 1.2 billion euros,” while in 35 years’ time, “when the Greek state will be the sole owner, profits will exceed two billion euros.”
The new Kastelli Airport will have two 3.2 km (2-mile) runways which falls within acceptable international standards. The apron of 400 acres, will leave room for approximately 30 aircraft can taxi and park is envisaged for the new airport.
The terminal building will have five levels and a total area of 72,000 square meters (775,000 square feet), of which 13,000 square meters are intended for commercial use and 1,100 square meters are dedicated as a permanent exhibition space.
In addition to the construction of the airport, other major projects which are planned for the Kastelli Airport vicinity include the construction of new roads and the upgrading of existing local roads.