Crete’s New Heraklion Airport to Become Mediterranean Hub
Works on the highly anticipated Kastelli Airport to handle initially 15 million passengers a year and create hundreds of jobs are moving ahead as scheduled, said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his visit to Crete this week.
Mitsotakis visited the island to present the Crete 2030 development plan which includes 480 major infrastructure projects, including road works, hospitals, marinas and ports in addition to the airport.
The new international airport of Heraklion in the Kasteli area, budgeted at 522 million euros and set to create 2,000 jobs, will once completed replace the existing “Nikos Kazantzakis” airport, the country’s second largest currently handling over six million passengers a year. The new airport, scheduled to launch operations by the end of 2027 or early 2028, will be able to reach a capacity of 18 million passengers a year.
During an inspection visit of airport works, Mitsotakis noted that it was the largest construction site currently in Greece. “Crete is getting an airport worthy of its development potential,” he said, adding that Kastelli will also be “one of the largest airports built in the whole of Europe”.
The design, construction, financing, operation, maintenance and exploitation of the new airport on Crete, as well as the design, construction and financing of its connecting 24km road network have been undertaken by GMR Group and Greek infrastructure company Terna SA for a period of 35 years including a five-year construction phase.
“Crete will have a modern airport which can be visited by up to 15 million passengers. This will be the most modern airport in the Mediterranean,” said Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis, adding that the project was moving ahead of schedule.
Mitsotakis also pledged to make good use of the Heraklion Airport once the new one at Kasteli begins operations. “This is a very important area located in the urban fabric of the city of Heraklion. We will listen to the thoughts and suggestions of the local community and I believe this space can be used immediately for the benefit not only of Heraklion residents, but also of the whole of Crete,” said Mitsotakis.
As part of airport works, a number of other key infrastructure projects, including the completion of the so-called north road axis and peripheral roadway networks as well as water and sanitation works are in the pipeline.
15 Mio passengers… will there be a rail connection to Heraklion? Quite many passengers are locals and are interested in a save, fast and environment friendly connection.
We could all stand on the ruins at Knossos and point out all the pain and turmoil of impending “progress” but without it we would still be trying to escape the Minatour in the labyrinth…! The island and the country must have progressive improvements in infrastructure to compete in the worlds tourism economy, especially when this segment represents such a massive portion of the GNP.
Please keep up with the current aim for all year round flights it’s on the agenda bringing Greece inline with other tourist destinations ie Spain and Portugal to name a couple.
All you environmental tree huggers need to grow up and realize Greece as a whole needs all these developments. Greece lacks manufacturing and industry. They must exploit their full tourism potential goals. Crete is the biggest island in the Mediterranean and can be a year round destination. Their current abysmal airport received 8.1 million passengers in 2019. To avoid chaotic queues in the summer this new airport will put Crete on the map and streamline efficient operations. If you want to continue whining like the leftists in Greece go live in Venezuela or Cuba.
The rubbish.. where does that go? dumping everywhere, each region needs a larger waste management facility more recycling and reuse of many materials. Is this in the plan? seems they just want to build on natura sites, an absolute crime! our ancestors are screaming who’s listening?
With new devolopments there always will be people in favor or against a project. Each year we visit another greek island and on each visit I’m shocked again by the waste being dumped, not only plastic, even on hillsides in the back of an island. Bear in mind that the founder of the OceanCleanup Organization started his ‘journey’ after a geek vacation, struck by the plastic waste….
But does Crete really need it. Six months of every year the airport will be empty. Also a new highway. Six months of the year nearly empty. Put the money where it’s needed in the hospitals and keeping the roads they have in better repair.
Will there now be direct winter flights