“All interested parties have asked for an extension and the ministry is looking into it,” an infrastructure ministry official told the news agency.
According to Reuters, leading French concession & construction player Vinci was expected to express interest together with Greek contractor Ellaktor. Spain’s ACS was also set to join GEK-Terna in the bidding, as was China State Construction Engineering and joint venture partner Zurich Airport. All groups aim to obtain the 37-year concession in the project, which has thus far been budgeted at 900 million euros. The winning bidder will also be responsible for the construction of Crete-wide road links to the airport.
Slated to be operational in 2018, the airport – set to replace the current Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion – is expected to handle more than seven million passengers per year, becoming Greece’s second-biggest airport.
In the meantime, passenger traffic to Crete increased in March with Heraklion airport seeing a total of 95,067 passengers go through its gates.