GMR Infra Set To Begin Construction of Greece’s Second Largest Airport At Crete, Greece

Indian infrastructure major GMR Group has annouced that it has been selected to develop, operate and manage the new international Kastelli airport, also known as Crete airport, in Heraklion, Greece, with a joint venture partner, TERNA S.A., a Greek infrastructure company.

The project involves the design, construction, financing, operation, maintenance and exploitation of the Crete airport, and the design, construction and financing of its connecting roads totalling approximately 24km.

The current Heraklion airport is the second largest airport in Greece (after Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos.and has witnessed steady traffic growth in the last three to four years. It handles over eight million passengers annually and faces capacity constraints due to growing traffic. The current Heraklion facility has a single runway, a small terminal building, and aging air and land side facilities, which are no longer sufficient to serve the growing air traffic in the country.

The greenfield Crete airport once completed will have a passenger capacity of approximately 15 million and replace the Heraklion airport.

The concession is for a period of 35 years including the first phase of construction of five years.  While TERNA SA, – GMR Airports Limited consortium will retain 54.1 percent of the company which will be set up for the operation and management of the airport for 35 years, the government of Greece will retain 45.9 percent of the ownership stake.

The consortium will invest over 500 million Euro (Rs. 3876 cr) for the development of the airport.

The construction of new airport at Kasteli, which is expected to be completed within 60 months of the launch date, would become the biggest construction project ever on Crete and one of the largest private investments made in the country.

The entire project will be funded through a mix of equity, accruals from the existing airport, and financial grant being provided by the government of Greece.

The construction of new airport at Kasteli is set to become biggest construction project ever on Crete and one of the largest private investments made in the country.

The proposed airport will have a dual 3.2 km runway which falls within acceptable international standards. An apron of 400 acres, on which approximately 30 aircraft can taxi and park, is envisaged for the new airport.

The terminal building will have 5 levels and a total area of ​​72,000 square meters (775,000 square feet), of which 13,000 square meters are intended for commercial use and 1,100 square meters are dedicated as a permanent exhibition space.