The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €180m loan for the construction of an airport in Crete, doubling the passenger capacity on the island.
The airport will be built in the village of Kasteli, 30km from Crete’s largest city, and will replace Heraklion International Airport.
The EIB’s €180m funding for the project will act as the state’s contribution to the €517m development.
The bank notes that Heraklion Airport is congested in the summer tourism season, and cannot handle additional passengers.
Andrew McDowell, the EIB’s vice president, said: "The EIB recognises the importance of new investment to increase passenger capacity, improve security and support growth of the tourism sector in Greece.
"The €180m loan will enable construction of the new Heraklion airport to finally start after many years of planning and delay.
"The EIB recognises the commitment to redevelop the existing Heraklion Airport area to unlock economic, environmental and social benefits. This redevelopment is an integral part of our loan conditions."
Image: Heraklion International Airport (George Kokkinidis/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0)