Kasteli Airport

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Kasteli Airport

Αεροδρόμιο Καστελίου
Kasteli Airport.JPG
View from the east
Airport typePublic / Military
OwnerHellenic Air Force
LocationKasteli, Heraklion
Elevation AMSL1,180 ft / 360 m
Coordinates35°11′36.40″N 25°19′41.10″E / 35.1934444°N 25.3280833°E / 35.1934444; 25.3280833
Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 8,038 2,450 Asphalt
Source: Austrian AIP[1]

Kasteli Airport (ICAO: LGTL) is a mixed-use public/military airport located south-east of Heraklion, in Kasteli on the Greek island of Crete. It started operating in 1940[2] and it now has a single runway with a length of 2,450m. The airport is used by F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force's 133 Combat Group.[3] The Ariadne Airport Group consortium, consisting of the GEK Terna in partnership with the Indian GMR Group has been selected to develop, operate and manage a new international airport on this site[4] as a replacement for the existing Heraklion International Airport.[5]

Airport expansion[edit]

It is planned that the new airport will be situated on the south western side of Kasteli Hellenic Air Force Base, from which the air force currently operates F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters. The idea was first proposed in 1986 by then-Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. The project has officially entered the implementation phase, and tenders have been invited. The new airport was planned to become operational in 2014. The existing airport at Heraklion will be closed and an area of 278 hectares (687 acres) there will be returned to local communities for a large urban regeneration plan.

The creation of the new airport will require new road, water and sanitation works, as well as the transfer of settlements located within the proposed runway zone (Archangelos, Roussochoria). The construction of a 17 km road will connect the airport with Motorway 90 (A90) along the north coast of Crete, in the neighbourhood of Chersonissos. When finished, the distance from the city of Heraklion to the new airport will be approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi). 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 Kasteli. It will have a runway 3,800 metres (12,467 ft) long to accommodate larger aircraft than can presently be operated into Heraklion airport. 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.[6]

Initially,[7][8] four candidates had appeared for the Kasteli airport construction and management project, from Greece, China, France and Spain.

However, the Ariadne Airport Group consortium was declared the provisional winner of the international tender in May 2017. Ariadne is a joint venture formed by Greece-based Terna and New Delhi-headquartered GMR Airports. According to the Greek Secretary General of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Giorgos Dedes, €10 million euros have been approved for expropriations and the contract for the airport has been approved by the Court of Auditors, so that infrastructure works can begin in January 2019.[9]


  1. ^ "AD 1.6.11 KASTELI" (PDF). eaip.austrocontrol.at. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Κρήτη: "Σβήνουν" το πλέον κρίσιμο ελληνικό πολεμικό αεροδρόμιο στην Α.Μεσόγειο για να φέρνουν ... τουρίστες!". www.pronews.gr. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  3. ^ "133 Combat Group". www.haf.gr. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  4. ^ "GMR Infra to develop new airport in Crete island". The Hindu Business Line. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Greek/Indian venture aims to start work on Crete airport in early 2018". Reuters. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  6. ^ Cretan Chronicles blog
  7. ^ "Greece pushes back deadline for Kasteli airport bids to May 6". www.ekathimerini.com. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Tender looms for new airport on Crete". www.naftemporiki.gr. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  9. ^ "The Kasteli Airport Project Rolls Out in January 2019". www.argophilia.com. Retrieved 24 December 2018.