The island of Crete is finally getting a new international airport after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis laid the foundation stone at Kastelli, on Saturday.
“This airport will be the best in the country. End of story. The most modern, the most environmentally friendly, one that will incorporate the latest technologies,” Mitsotakis said during a special ceremony.
Ariadne Airport Group – a joint venture between Greek firm GEK Terna and India’s GMR Airports Limited (GAL) – was awarded the concession contract last year. Meanwhile, earlier this year, the European Investment Bank (EIB) pledged its support of the project with a 28-year, 180-million-euro loan to Greece.
Under the concession agreement, Ariadne Airport Group is bound to complete the project within 54 months plus six months for trials – 60 months in total. The 35-year deal foresees six-term deadlines from the starting date. The concessionaire is also required within that time to secure licensing and certification requirements.
Budgeted at 850 million euros, the highly anticipated transport infrastructure project is expected to create 2,000 jobs during the construction period and some 7,500 direct employment positions once completed. An additional 37,000 indirect jobs are projected at opening up in the areas of tourism and trade.
The Kastelli Airport, set to replace the current Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion, and is expected to become Greece’s second-biggest, handling more than eight million passengers per year.
Works to begin in the upcoming period include a 3.2km runway for commercial aircraft including Airbus A380 jet airliners, a 23-meter parallel taxiway with a provision for the construction of a second taxiway to facilitate independent operation, eight junction lanes; two junction lanes linked with the Military Airport runway; airside facilities including a cargo terminal building and an apron area capable of initially housing 27 aircraft; a five-level 72,000m2 main terminal building with 13,000m2 of commercial use areas and approximately 1,000m2 of permanent showroom space; 11 airport use spaces/buildings for airport operations requirements, including control tower, fire brigade, police, maintenance, ground installation, power center, water tanks, biological cleaning system, hydraulic installation, waste storage system; vehicle parking spaces; and road networks.
At the same time, due to the airport, a number of other key infrastructure projects, including the completion of the so-called north road axis and peripheral roadway networks as well as water and sanitation works are in the pipeline.
It should be noted that under the concession agreement, Ariadne Airport Group is required to hand over 2 percent of the proceeds, 1 percent of which will go to the Minoa Pediada Municipality and 1 percent to support the development of Heraklion regional unit organizations and other public benefit projects and actions.
Source: GTP Headlines