It is only a matter of time before the tender for the concession of the Kalamata airport begins, while another tender will apparently will take place for the cluster of the remaining 22 regional airports of the country that remain state-owned. Kalamata airport, which is developing into an important airport for the tourist product of Peloponnese and Messinia in particular, has being standing out from the rest for a long time.
The final decisions, however, will be made in the immediate future and if there are no setbacks, then the tender could be announced within the next two to three months. This decision will lead to a separate tender for the remaining 22 small regional airports in the country.
The Managing Director of the Growthfund, Grigoris Dimitriadis, speaking about their utilization plan in the general plan until 2024, revealed that the studies have been completed and now the final decision remains
Mr. Dimitriadis characterized their utilization as a matter of overall regional development. At the moment the consultants are “playing” with scenarios in order to choose the optimal solution that will lead us to the renowned tender for 22 of the 23 regional airports.
Among the 22 airports in the last 2-3 years, the one of Paros has stood out. After all, it is no coincidence that while the first upgrade project for the maneuver field was completed in 2018, there was a donation for the expansion of the airport, recently the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport proceeded with a second contract for the airport and other areas.
The rest are the airports in the regions: Aghialos, Alexandroupoli, Araxos, Astypalaia, Ikaria, Ioannina, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Kastellorizo, Kastoria, Kozani, Kythira, Leros, Limnos, Milos, Naxos, Sitia, Skyros, Syros and Chios.
Interesting cases are the airport of Ioannina, which has shown some momentum in recent years, as well as those of Milos and Naxos due to the growing tourist flow
The final decision as to whether we end up with a single tender will have to do with whether the more commercial airports are asked to cover the rest which have traffic for a short period of the year or operate a minimum number of flights per year.
At the moment the prevailing scenario is that they will not break into different clusters, as it seemed until recently, but will all come out together in a single competitive concession process. As explained, this is preferred in order not to create groups of different speeds, resulting in weaker commercial airports being left unclaimed.
During summer, the tender for the “Capetan Vassilis Konstantopoulos” airport of Kalamata is expected to take place, which has seen a rapid growth for the past five to six years. The elements are characteristic:
280,000 passengers in 2018, 336,000 passengers in 2019. In 2021, approximately 174,000 passengers passed, and this year too, its trajectory remains upwards.
The duration of the concession will be from 30-40 years, following the example of Fraport Greece’s regional airports. It is worth noting that Kalamata airport will be the third Greek airport to be privatized on its own. The ones that have preceded it are the one of Athens and that of Heraklion, with the construction of the airport in Kasteli being in progress.
In any case, Kalamata airport emerges as an outsider that wins on points. With the tender just around the corner, it will be interesting to see which domestic or foreign investors will show interest in an airport that 10 years ago was at the bottom of the passenger traffic list among Greek airports.