Heraklion International Airport
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|Heraklion International Airport
Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου
|Focus city for||Aegean Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||115 ft / 35 m|
Heraklion International Airport, “Nikos Kazantzakis” (IATA: HER, ICAO: LGIR) is the primary airport on the island of Crete, Greece, and the country’s second busiest airport after Athens International Airport. It is located about 5 km east of the main city center of Heraklion, near the municipality of Nea Alikarnassos. It is a shared civil/military facility.
The airport is named after Heraklion native Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer and philosopher. Nikos Kazantzakis Airport is Crete’s main and busiest airport, serving Heraklion (Ηράκλειο), Aghios Nikolaos (Άγιος Νικόλαος), Malia (Mάλλια), Hersonissos (Χερσόνησος), Stalida (Σταλίδα), Elounda (Ελούντα) and other resorts.
The airport first opened in March 1939. This was then merely a piece of flat agricultural land. The first aeroplane (a Junkers Ju-52) carried the first passengers to the site. During the Second World War operations ceased, but in fall 1946 traffic re-assumed, introducing the DC-3 aircraft.
At first, the airport only offered very basic service, with only primitive installations on the site, in the form of three tents, smoke for wind determination and storm lamps for runway lighting.
In 1947, the first (small) terminal was erected. Hellenic Airlines started commercial flights in 1948. At that time, a total of 4,000 people were served. The year 1953 saw the construction of a paved runway which was initially 1,850 meters long and oriented as 09/27. The next major event followed in 1954, when a four-engined DC-4 aircraft landed for the first time at the airport. In that year the airport handled approximately 18.000 passengers. From 1957 onward, the new Olympic Airways used the airport, starting services with the DC-6 aircraft.
From 1968 until 1971, the runway was extended to 2,680 meters and a new terminal and other facilities were constructed, essentially making it a new airport. On March 18, 1971, the first charter flight from abroad (British Airways) operated at the airport. The new airport itself was officially inaugurated on May 5, 1972.
|1973–1975||Construction of aircraft hangars and service roads|
|1988||Inauguration of new foreign departure and arrivals lounges (900 m2)|
|1992||Completion of new foreign arrivals lounge|
|1994||Operation of new foreign departures lounge (2,000 m 2)|
|1996||Completion of airport extension by 11,700 m2|
|1997||Operation of new foreign departures lounge (5,000 m2)|
|2005||Completion of airport extension by 18,985 m2|
During the summer months the airport can become very congested. During this period it is not uncommon that passengers have to wait in queue for check-in outside the terminal. Therefore, a new airport at Kastelli Pediados has been planned. The project is originally expected to be completed by 2015. The cost of this airport will be approximately 1 billion euros. When the new airport is up and running, the existing airport at Heraklion will cease operations.
Airlines and destinations
Summer seasonal charter flights
Annual passenger throughput - 11 year history
|Year||Flights||Passengers||Passengers Change (%)|
- It is often requested by airlines that passengers do not take any photographs or video of the runway. This is because of a Hellenic Air Force base (126 CG) which operates at the airport.
There are plans to replace the current airport with a new airport at Kastelli. The new airport will be adjacent to an already existing airbaset and will will require new roads, water and sanitation projects, including the transfer of the settlements located within the proposed runway (Archangelos, Roussochoria). The construction of a 17 km road will connect the airport with the National Road along the north coast of Crete, in the neighbourhood of Chersonissos. When finished, the distance from the city of Iraklio to the new airport will be approximately 40 kilometers. Complaints have been filed for lack of a new road linking the new airport to the south coast of Crete.
The new airport will be constructed over an area of 600 hectares (1482 acres), adjacent to the current military airport in Kastelli. It will have a runway of 3800 meters to accommodate larger aircraft than can presently be operated into Heraklion International Airport, "Nikos Kazantzakis". An additional area of 22 hectares (54 acres) is reserved for commercial activity south-west of the new airport. This is a very large project with a budget of €1.2 billion for construction costs alone, and together with purchase costs including loans and other expenses, will reach €1.5 billion.
The location of the new airport can be seen here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?oe=UTF8&t=h&source=embed&ie=UTF8&msa=0&mid=zJZhfY1z_GvU.kuOQm8LO05Ws
- "Nikos Kazantzakis". WorldAeroData. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Statistical data of Iraklion airport "N. Kazantzakis" for the period 1994-2012" (XLS). Hellenic Civilian Aviation Authority. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Heraklion Airport History". www.heraklion-airport.info. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Article from oriste.com: "New airport Iraklio Crete in Kastelli Pediados"
- Article from oriste.com: "Construction of Iraklio airport in Kastelli Pediados"
- "WIZZ AIR ANNOUNCES 9TH AIRCRAFT IN BUCHAREST AND 29% GROWTH IN ROMANIA IN 2015". Wizz Air. 10 September 2014.
- VQ-BDO, Boeing 737-800, NordStar Airlines - Large size. airpics.net. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- "Contact." (Archive) Bluebird Airways. Retrieved on 19 September 2012. "Offices: Heraklion International Airport "N.Kazantzakis" - Address in Greek: "Γραφεία: Κρατικός αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"
Media related to Heraklion International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Greek Airports: Heraklion International Airport, "N. Kazantzakis"
- Greek Airport Guide: Iraklio Airport, "N. Kazantzakis"
- LGIR on Airliners.net
- Airport information for LGIR at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- LGIR current wind