Kastelli International Airport, Greece


Kastelli

Kastelli International Airport is being constructed on the Island of Crete, Greece, by Ariadne Airport Group, a consortium of Greek firm Gek Terna and Indian company GMR Airports.

Construction for the first phase of the project is expected to commence in early 2018 and continue for up to five years.

The new airport will serve the growing air transportation requirements in Greece by replacing the existing Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport in the city of Heraklion, Crete Island, which has been operational since 1937.

Initially, the new airport will be able to handle nine million local and international passengers a year, while its maximum handling capacity will be 15 million passengers a year.

The project is expected to create 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and up to 500 jobs during operation.

Location of Kastelli International Airport

The new international airport will be built on a 600ha site situated 360m above sea level in Kastelli village in the north-west part of the city of Heraklion.

The facility will be built 35km away from the existing Heraklion International Airport, which is adjacent to Kasteli Hellenic Air Force Base.

Design and features of Kastelli International Airport

The new Kastelli International Airport will feature a passenger terminal building with a floor area of 71,620m². The terminal building will have the capacity to accommodate between 57,500 and 65,000 passengers a day initially.

"Initially, the new airport will be able to handle nine million local and international passengers a year."

A 3.8km-long runway, capable of handling commercial aircraft such as Airbus A380 jet airliner, will be built 450m parallel to the existing military runway in Kastelli. Two 4F Category parallel taxiways will be constructed to facilitate independent operation.

The airside facilities also include a 15,000m² cargo terminal building and an apron area capable of housing 44 aircraft.

Land-side infrastructure will be built on the west side of the runway. Additionally, commercial infrastructure facilities will be accommodated across a 22ha area to the southwest of the airport..

Financing

The total cost of developing the Kastelli International Airport project is estimated to be €850m ($967m).

The state government will provide €180m ($200m) for the construction of the airport. The project will also receive up to €220m ($260m) from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Contractors involved

The Greek Ministry of Development & Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, in co-operation with the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, selected engineering and consulting firm DENCO to develop the master plan for the new international airport.

DENCO collaborated with Greek firm CNWAY Engineering Consultants to conduct a study on the airport site in 2004.

Greek engineering company TEKEM provided consulting and preliminary design services for the project in 2009.

"The facility will be built 35km away from the existing Heraklion International Airport."

Ariadne Airport Group, a consortium of GMR Airports, and Terna, an infrastructure company based in Greece and a subsidiary of GEK Terna Group, placed a bid of €480m ($509.42m) to build the new Heraklion airport in October 2016.

The consortium was selected as the successful bidder in June 2017. It will be responsible for the design, development, financing, operations and maintenance of the airport for a concession period of 35 years.

Need for new airport in Greece

Heraklion International Airport, which has a capacity of more than six million passengers a year, is currently serving as Greece's second international airport.

The Heraklion airport has a single runway, a small terminal building, and ageing air and landside facilities, which are no longer sufficient to serve the growing air traffic in the country.

These capacity constraints and traffic congestions at the current airport led to the development of a new greenfield international airport in Heraklion.

Featuring increased passenger capacity, the Kastelli international airport is expected to improve the country's tourism industry and economy.

In addition, the airport will contribute to the aviation industry by serving an increasing number of international tourists in Greece.