Hill picked as engineer for new airport on Crete

US construction manager Hill International has been picked as Independent Engineer by the developers of a new international airport on the popular Greek island of Crete.

Costing $585m to build, the new airport will be sited at the Kasteli mixed public-military airfield, and will replace Crete’s Heraklion International when open, according to plans, in 2023.

Last May the Greek government awarded the concession to finance, build and operate the airport for 35 years to a joint venture of Greek construction group GEK Terna and India’s GMR Infrastructure. The JV is called Ariadne Airport Group.

The Greek government retains a 46% stake in the concession.

Ariadne will build a 72,000 sq m terminal, a 3.2 km runway, a commercial zone and road infrastructure.

Hill said the new airport would handle more than nine million passengers a year when open, making it Greece’s second busiest airport behind Athens.

"The airport will become a key hub for transportation and tourism, providing several benefits to the regional economy, not least by jobs creation," said Emmanouil Sigalas, Hill’s managing director for Southern Europe.

According to Reuters, the Greek government had been trying to attract developers to take on the new Crete airport project since 2010, but investors had been wary about the country’s debt crisis.

Photograph: An airliner prepares to land at Crete’s existing Heraklion International, which the new airport will replace (Creative Commons)

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