The Greek Government will divide the country’s regional airports into three groups based on geographical criteria prior to inviting private investors to submit expressions of interest for their operation, the Greek media recently reported.
The first group will concern airports on the islands of Northern Greece and the Ionian Islands (Thessaloniki, Kavala, Corfu, Zakynthos, Anchialos, Skiathos), the second group will concern airports on the Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands (Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini) and the third group will concern the airports on Crete (Heraklion, Chania).
A recently formed airport management company (AEDA) will be responsible for the remaining regional airports.
The company, which is owned by the Greek state, will either undertake their management or assign their management to a third party. Reports say the latter scenario appears most likely.
The Greek state aims to concede the country’s regional airports for 30-35 years. The airports will remain state property and the government will retain a monitoring role.
The tender for the concession of between 13 to 22 Greek regional airports is expected to launch sometime during the first three months of this year.
Greek regional airports were responsible for 50 percent of total passenger traffic in the country in 2011 (some 19.3 million passengers).
For 2013 it is estimated that the airports on Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Kos, Corfu and Chania will account for 71 percent of the total passenger traffic of the country’s regional airports. The airports of Zakynthos, Santorini, Lesvos, Mykonos, Samos, Kefalonia, Preveza and Kavala will account for 21 percent.