The interministerial committee for denationalization last month gave the ‘green light’ for the utilization of regional airports by private investors.
Potential investors would be responsible for the completion of the existing infrastructure and the management of the airports.
This decision marks the start of the implementation of the plan to increase the number of international airports in Greece, which until now includes only the Athens airport ‘Eleftherios Venizelos’ and on a lower level the airport ‘Macedonia’ in Thessaloniki.
The aim of the interministerial committee (comprised of ministers from the finance and transport ministries) in regards to the partial privatizations of Greek airports is to transform 40 regional airports into local development centers.
Presently, according to figures from the ministry of transport, 12 airport works are in the process of completion at a cost of some 500 million euros. Meanwhile another 900 million euros is slated for additional airport works.
As well, a number of airports will be equipped with air navigation and security equipment with a cost that will reach some 280 million euros.
The airport in Kasteli -the airport destined to become the new major airport on Crete- is in the process of construction and a concession contract will be signed. The construction is under the responsibility of the ministry of environment, physical planning and public works.
Airports that have already generated the interest of private investors and will be included in the procedure are those of Thessaloniki (Macedonia airport); Heraklio, Crete; Chania, Crete; Santorini; Kerkyra; Mytilini; Rodos; Kos; Chios; and Zakynthos.
Most of the above airports (including Athens Eleftherios Venizelos) registered an increase of more than seven percent as they serviced more than 37 million passengers last year.