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Crete: Updated Master Plan for New Kastelli Airport Gets Approval

Impression of Kastelli airport.

Impression of Kastelli airport.

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) has approved the updated master plan for the construction of the new Kastelli Airport on the island of Crete, paving the way for works to begin.

The project is entering its next stage with the start of construction works for the airport’s main facilities and infrastructure. According to, these include the airport’s terminal and runway, auxiliary runways, buildings and aircraft parking areas.

The updated master plan was submitted for approval months ago by the consortium of Greek firm GEK Terna and India’s GMR Airports Limited (GAL) that was awarded the concession contract in 2019. Its approval by the HCAA and the project’s independent engineer Hill International was delayed due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Kastelli Airport, set to replace the current Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion, is expected to become Greece’s second biggest, handling up to 15 million passengers per year.

It is also expected to significantly benefit Crete’s tourism industry.

The new airport will feature a 72,000m2 main terminal building with 19 passenger waiting halls, a 3.2km runway for commercial aircraft including Airbus A380 jet airliners, an apron area capable of initially housing 27 aircraft; 11 airport use spaces / buildings for airport operations requirements, including control tower, fire brigade, police, maintenance, ground installation, power center, water tanks, biological cleaning system etc.

The project also foresees the creation of commercial use areas and a permanent showroom space.

In addition, a number of other key infrastructure projects including the completion of the so-called north road axis and peripheral roadway networks are in the pipeline.

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  1. Robert Hill Reply

    Kastelli isa quiet small town. God knows what a large airport will do to the area. Also is there capacity on the island to manage all the millions of extra tourists? Speak to many Cretans and they worry about things such as water supplies

  2. John503 Merrick Reply

    Visit this wine growing region in the mountains at least 1000 feet above the coast and a long ride from the city. Valleys will be filled and hills removed for new roads. Iraklion does need a new airport as the frequent takeoffs dump tons of jet exhaust on the City not to mention the thundering noise. There is a vast expanse of level ground near the coast and away from the city that clearly would have been a better site.

  3. xenos Reply

    15 million passengers per year means 15 million passengers from june to September

  4. Steve Powell Reply

    I’m not impressed(!) by the artist’s impression of the airport with what looks like the sea behind it, as the Kastelli site is quite a few km inland!

    • Joe F Reply

      That’s because these are not the actual official renderings. Good catch. I have no idea where GTP got these images from.

      • GTP editing team Reply

        These are the renderings that were released in 2016 to the press. Thank you.

        • Joe F Reply

          No, these are old concepts for the new airport that were not conducted by GMR. Notice how the two images don’t even look alike. They’re two different proposals for the terminal, designed by completely different people.

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