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Crete: Kasteli Airport construction contract to be signed by the end of the year



The largest tender for the concession project regarding the construction and operation of the new airport in Kasteli, Heraklion, is proceeding silently but methodically. According to secure information provided at, we have three important steps ahead of us.

The first is the preparation of the tender documents, which will be made by the Ministry of Infrastructure and according to the program so far will be scheduled for next September.

In the following days, TERNA-GMR consortium is expected to submit the updated EIA (i.e. environmental impact assessment), as the provisional contractor of the project. The assessment will then head towards its approval by the related Ministry of Environment and Energy and will constitute the “Bible” of the project’s construction.

It will contain all the elements and details for the environmental dimension of the project. It is noteworthy that the new airport is going to be one of the “greenest” projects, especially with regard to the Terminal, but also water and energy management. These innovations essentially mean saving time, human resources and money for the project’s implementation.

The third element is the major issue of expropriations. According to the same sources of, the first, out of 28 expropriations in total, has been sent to determine the provisional unit price in the Legal Council.

In order for the project not to be entangled in the well-known and troublesome, “motorway” issues that literally deconstructed those projects, the expropriations for Kasteli Airport, will be implemented under the provisions of the “Olympic Law”, so that, within 2-3 months, the under-discussion properties can be bound by The Ministry of Infrastructure and transferred to the contractor.

Bureaucratic procedures also progressing

One of the details that have not become widely known is that the competition for the new airport was digital across all stages, except for the submission of the financial offers. This is another element that accelerated the documents’ check.

With regard to the competition’s documents, the same sources point out that we are in the process of finalizing the contractual documents, (i.e. the interim period since TERNA-GMR consortium will be declared the definite contractor, rather than the temporary one).

It is estimated that all relevant procedures can be concluded by September and after that, the contract will be sent for approval to the Court of Auditors in the Autumn. The tendering period is expected to be completed with the consequent ratification of the contract by the Hellenic Parliament that will finally allow the concession signatures, which will mark the beginning of a construction period of 5 years.

This information defines a time-frame up to roughly 2023, not taking into account the factor called archaeology. It is worth mentioning that the project will cost, according to the contractor’s offer, 480mn euros, with 180mn euros being the contribution of the State. No additional loans are involved in this project.

Closing, this will be the first major concession contract, 10 years after the signatures of the motorway projects, with Crete being the epicentre of the new generation for infrastructure development that is expected to change dramatically the face of the island; the upgrade of and expansion of VOAK (Northern Crete Motorway Axis) to a covered motorway and of course the long desired new international airport in Kasteli area, both delivered by the middle of the following decade.



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