A new international airport costing more than 1 billion euros will be built on Crete, according to a government announcement. The new airport will be able to serve 5,000 holidaymakers at a time and will also serve as a transport hub for air cargo in the eastern Mediterranean.
Last month, Transport Minister Michalis Liapis and Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis said that the project would be completed within the next eight to 10 years and will cost 1.1 billion euros, some of which will be provided by private investors.
The area of Kasteli, near Heraklion in northern Crete, has been chosen as the site for the airport. It will replace the troubled Nikos Kazantzakis Airport in Heraklion – the second-busiest Greek airport with some 5 million passengers passing through it each year – which is close to built-up areas and is overstretched during the peak tourist season as more charter flights arrive there than at any other airport in Greece.
The new airport will be a 26-minute drive from Heraklion center. At 70,000 square meters, it will be almost double the size of Nikos Kazantzakis Airport.