The airport of Kalamata in the Peloponnese, is next in line for upgrade works with the government set to issue a call for tenders in the immediate future, said Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis during the 7th European Aviation Conference held in Athens, last week.
The makeover project is budgeted at 50 million euros and the Greek government is aiming to repeat the tender procedure applied for the Kasteli airport in 2014.
Tourism stakeholders and local professionals expect the Kalamata Airport to further boost incoming tourist flows to the Peloponnese, particularly attracted by the 5-star Costa Navarino Resort.
Indicatively, incoming traffic through Kalamata Airport increased in 2017 to 276,725 passengers against 227,980 in 2016, and 3,319 flights against 2,684.
Addressing the conference titled “Ownership and Privatization of Airports, Airlines and Air Traffic Control: Getting It Right”, Spirtzis said that the remaining 22 state-owned airports will be handled under a public-private partnership deal within a cluster.
“Greece will acquire one more international airport, in Kalamata, which will serve the Peloponnese,” the minister said, adding that Messinia was a strategic choice having a port and the suitable road infrastructure, but needing an airport to upgrade the destination in order to be able to handle both commercial and passenger traffic through combined transport means.
Spirtzis went on to note that the remaining state-owned airports would not be privatized but instead commercial use would be leased to private interests with airport infrastructure under Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority control.
The immediate goal, he said, was to incorporate the said airports into a cluster in order for these to gain added value. Topping the agenda of projects is the upgrade of five regional airports, including those of Paros, Syros, Naxos, Milos, Chios and Alexandroupolis.
Winning regional airports in terms of traffic and revenue, according to the government, are those on the islands of Paros, Chios, Naxos, Karpathos and Ikaria, and in Araxos.